Cyber crime finds opportunity during COVID-19 pandemic
EDMONTON -- The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a new age of cyber crime, according to Edmonton industry experts.
"I call it the modern day gold rush (for hackers)," said Dan Mitchell, the founder and CEO of Edmonton cyber security firm Alt-Tech.
He says his business has been booming with corporate clients since near the start of the pandemic in March.
Mitchell says many of the inquiries are related to employees working from home, where online security policies aren't as easily enforced.
"People are being a little more loose with those policies that may exist."
On Tuesday, StatsCan released new survey data showing one in five Canadian businesses reporting being impacted by cyber attacks.
The data indicates that information and cultural industries, wholesale trade and scientific and technical services were among the industries most targeted.
Most cyberattacks with known motives were efforts to steal money, demand a ransom payment or steal personal or financial information.
Scammers often work by seeking banking information through spam emails, crafted to resemble actual corporate communications.
Mitchell says there's no reason to expect cyber attacks on businesses to stop, and that employers can protect themselves by ensuring workers have had cyver security training.
But even then, he warns no system is perfect.
"You can put every piece of technology in place and somebody will find out how to find the hole."