B.C. businesses bogged down by cyber threats

We look at the results of a recent survey on Canada's IT outlook, specifically the role that B.C. businesses play.

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As the use of new tech rises, so do the risks

A new type of threat is catching businesses off-guard. Tech services firm Novipro released the results of its third annual “IT Portrait of Canadian Businesses” survey, and some of the numbers are cause for concern.

Companies are still having trouble adjusting to the dangers posed by a digital-first world. Twenty-eight percent of Canadian businesses surveyed fell victim to a cyber attack in 2018. In B.C., the number was 30 percent. Still, a quarter of businesses in Canada have no recovery plan in the event of an attack, and nearly half say they wouldn’t tell their clients if it happened.

Although cybersecurity remains a worry, B.C. companies show a promising digital future, with 42 percent planning to invest in artificial intelligence within the next two years. The consumer goods, technology, media and financial services industries lead the charge with the highest investment rates for AI. 

“While it’s wonderful to see Canadian businesses continue to advance and adopt new technologies, like AI, it’s important that companies are properly equipped to manage these new technologies so they become an asset, not an issue,” Yves Paquette, co-founder, president and CEO of Novipro, said in a statement.

Paquette explained that while cyber security was an ever-increasing concern for businesses, the number of those conducting security audits fell significantly year-over-year. Also, the recent adoption of Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Document Act (PIPEDA) will require companies to change their practices.

Businesses’ perception and knowledge of technology also appears to be improving. In fact, 38 percent of survey respondents recognized the strategic role that technology plays in business, a 21 percent increase from 2016. As well, 44 percent of companies polled said that cloud computing has greatly improved their operations.