9 habits that lead to successful cyber security

The average data breach cost to Canadian firms studied hit $7 million

9 habits that lead to successful cyber securityWith Cyber Security Awareness Month almost upon us, I thought it might be helpful for executives to see an actionable list of topics to ask their techies about. Reasonable answers will build your confidence that your organization’s risk of a cyber security breach is being sensibly addressed. The average data breach cost to Canadian firms studied…

Has your smartphone been hacked?

The signs you've been hacked and how to minimize the risk

Has your smartphone been hacked?Hackers try to hide their activities and hope you won’t notice when they steal your identity and your data from your smartphone. Here are the more frequent signs that you’re being hacked and how to minimize the risk or thwart the attack. Unsecure Wi-Fi Wi-Fi in public places, such as cafes or stores, is often…

Why are data breaches still an issue?

How many breaches must we read about before we take action to protect our customer information?

Why are data breaches still an issue?I’m astonished that major data breach stories are still occurring and generating unnerving headlines. How many of these instances do we have to read about before we finally take at least basic action to protect our customer information? As a result of an attack, adult dating and pornography website company FriendFinder Networks exposed the personal…

How to reduce the risk of phishing attacks

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. But don't wait until then to incorporate security measures

How to reduce the risk of phishing attacksPhishing has evolved into the most effective social engineering attack hackers use to infiltrate organizations. Phishing aims to con employees into unknowingly downloading malware or revealing their access credentials. The best defence is our individual vigilance. Phishing.org defines phishing as “a cybercrime in which a target or targets are contacted by email, telephone or text…

How to prevent ransomware attacks on your computer

Never operate a computer without anti-virus software

How to prevent ransomware attacks on your computerRecent ransomware attacks highlight how appealing and lucrative these raids are to hackers. Ransomware is malicious software that installs itself on the computers on your network and encrypts all the files, making them inaccessible to your staff. On payment of the ransom, you typically receive a key consisting of a string of letters and numbers…

Wake up your employees to cyber security risks

Your employees can inadvertently be a cybercriminal’s best friend

Wake up your employees to cyber security risksWhen breaking through an organization’s security defences, employees who create vulnerabilities are a cybercriminal’s best friend. While technical security safeguards are essential, employees continue to be the weakest link when it comes to protecting corporate information from cybercriminals of various shapes, sizes and motivations. Cybercriminals regularly convince inattentive employees, through a phishing attack, to engage…

How to stop playing Whac-a-Mole with your information services

Band-aid fixes create a terrible work environment. This happens when IS is viewed simply as a cost

How to stop playing Whac-a-Mole with your information servicesIn too many organizations, the delivery of information services (IS) is best described as a giant, never-ending version of the Whac-a-Mole arcade game. If this situation describes your organization, it is time to take action. As a technology problem pops up, just like the mole in the game, someone in the IS group whacks it…

Panicked about the cost to reduce cyber attacks?

Successful cyberattacks can cause the demise of your organization

Panicked about the cost to reduce cyber attacks?Does paying attention to the risk of cyber attacks sound expensive, complicated and a distraction from your business plan? Are you burying your head in the sand and hoping that this risk will pass your organization by? As an incentive to act, recognize that successful cyberattacks can cause the demise of your organization by: A…

Canada must take a stand against China’s totalitarian use of tech

Democracies, even Canada, are beginning to wake up to the threats posed by China

Canada must take a stand against China’s totalitarian use of techIn an end-of-year message to Canadians, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau warned that Beijing was playing democracies off against each other, suggesting the country might begin a much needed policy change to respond to China’s “coercive diplomacy.” Soon after, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly, let it be known that the Trudeau government is developing…

Hybrid warfare is a threat to our way of life

Western societies need to develop a common and comprehensive understanding of its implications

Hybrid warfare is a threat to our way of lifeHybrid warfare has become a familiar phenomenon. But at a time of climate catastrophes and pandemics, booming technological innovation, geopolitical rivalry and a global reorganization of supply chains, hybrid scenarios below the threshold of war have gained enormous importance. While hybrid threats used to be the weapon of the weak, new technologies and their disruptive potential…

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacks

What was once purely academic has become a reality

Food industry must tighten security in face of cyber attacksMeat processing giant JBS recently paid out a US$11 million ransom following a cyber attack, according to reports. Most of its meatpacking facilities, including the one in Alberta, remained idle for a few days. Most of us link the concept of cyber attacks with information technology companies, governments and media. But experts have warned the…

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquette

When it comes to interoffice e-mails, most employees are under the impression that they can be more casual and informal

The do’s and don’ts of e-mail etiquetteThere have been hundreds of stories and several books published about the importance of crafting grammatical, well-thought-out, professional e-mails at work. Yet most people are still under the impression that different rules apply to e-mail. Discipline and planning go into writing letters and memos committed to paper, but most employees think they can be more…

Is COVID-19 today’s Y2K?

Draconian responses did more to kill the economic, social, spiritual and educational lives of citizens than stop fatalities

Is COVID-19 today’s Y2K?Twenty-one years ago, the world panicked over an invisible, media-hyped enemy. That enemy was Y2K, a problem whose shadow was much larger than its substance. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may be this era’s equivalent of that ‘millennium bug.’ The Y2K problem was essentially this: many computers had two digits for dates. If they went to 00, the…

Too many fault lines in digital voting process

The shambles of the Iowa caucuses reconfirms that electronic voting is still a long way off

Too many fault lines in digital voting processThe recent Iowa caucuses debacle reminded me of two things. First, my about-face as a member of the New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform with respect to electronic voting. Second, further confirmation that the electronic infrastructure continues to be an impediment in advancing digital democracy. The 21st century has empowered humanity with electronic connectivity and…
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