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How to Avoid Becoming a Cybercrime Victim in Canada

Canadian hospitals, cities and businesses have recently been hit by debilitating ransomware and virus attacks. Discover the best ways to avoid joining them.  

Cybercriminals

Experts estimate that cybercrime incidents are growing by 15% each year as cybercriminals gain greater skills to hack, breach and lock down computers and computer networks across the globe. Unfortunately, cities, large companies and even medical facilities in Canada aren’t immune to these malicious third-party attacks.

A Look at the Victims

Meridian Lightweight Technologies, an international corporation with branches in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, experienced a ransomware cyberattack earlier this month. It is in good company as Defence Construction Canada, which is tasked with managing Defence Department projects and infrastructure was hit by a cyber attack in September. The company refused to provide details regarding the attack but insiders say it involved ransomware, the tool of choice for many cybercriminals out to make easy money.

Listowel Wingham Hospitals Alliance was hit by a ransomware attack, which forced clinics affiliated with the hospital to stop providing certain services and sharing medical information with other medical facilities. Even various cities in Canada haven’t been able to avoid the long reach of cybercriminals as both Woodstock and Stratford were targeted by cyberattacks. Stratford’s municipal computers were breached by ransomware and the city had to pay to retrieve valuable data. In Woodstock, the cybercrime involved a virus that was isolated rather quickly but still affected the city’s ability to serve its residents.

Can Cyberattacks be Avoided?

Ransomware attacks and other forms of cybercrime can be avoided by taking the following precautions:

  • Updating operating systems. Cybercriminals tend to target businesses and organizations running older versions of Windows. This includes Windows 7, which Microsoft will stop supporting in January 2020.
  • Ensuring that the IT system is running a regularly updated anti-virus program at all times.
  • Providing ongoing employee security training so that employees know how to recognize potential cyberattacks and deal with them.
  • Regularly backing up valuable business data to a cloud storage site and an external hard drive that is stored at the office.

Working with a managed service provider is yet another good way to prevent the devastating aftereffects of a cyberattack. Managed IT service providers offer cutting edge technology, training, and assistance to businesses and organizations from a wide range of industries. Service plans are available in various price points and most IT service providers customize their services to meet the needs of any given client.

OnServe is an experienced, versatile managed IT service provider that works with companies throughout Canada. We offer managed IT services, cybersecurity services, VoIP, mobile device management and more to help our clients access the best technological solutions at all times. Get in touch with us to learn more or to make an appointment with one of our IT technicians.