Keep Your Business Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Key Insights:

  • Cybercrimes continue to be a growing concern for small and medium-sized businesses
  • Small and medium organizations can improve resiliency and competitiveness by engaging in cyber defence best practices and investments in cybersecurity controls.
  • There are a number of free training options, resources and security controls available to help protect your business.
  • Vaughan Economic Development provides business advisory services, workshops, and connections to supporting organizations to assist businesses of all sizes – connect with us today!

Why cybersecurity matters to your business

In an increasingly digital world, small and medium-sized organizations have shifted to doing business online and remote working. In the latest Canadian Survey on Business Conditions released in the second quarter of 2022 by Statistics Canada, 31 per cent of businesses surveyed were unsure if they would take on new or additional cybersecurity measures. However, it is important for businesses to take cybersecurity seriously – a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) survey shows that one in four (24 per cent) small business owners reported an increase in cyberattack attempts against their business last year. Cyber incidents impacting businesses are making headlines every day, and cyber attackers are finding new and more sophisticated ways to exploit and take advantage of all organizations.

But first, what is cyber security?

Cybersecurity is the practice of putting measures in place to protect a company’s data along with clients’ data from cyber threats and attacks. Cybersecurity protects your information, devices, social media accounts, and networks from being exploited by cybercriminals.

Types of cybercrimes

Cybercrimes are always evolving, it is important for business owners to be aware of the following common cybercrimes.

Ransomware: A type of malware that prevents you from accessing your systems or files until a sum of money is paid.

Phishing: Employees can become one of the weakest links to ensuring the safety and security of a system or network. Email or text messages that appear to be from a legitimate source, but contain infected attachments or malicious links. If recipients open the attachments or click on links contained in phishing messages, they may download malware or be directed to malicious websites.

Spam: Unsolicited messages to many recipients to advertise or to achieve malicious intentions.

Fraud: The act of wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain.

Cyber Security Protection Tools and Resources

While it isn’t always necessary to implement all cyber security controls, it is encouraged to adopt as many as possible to enhance your cyber security. Looking for steps you can take to protect your organization’s networks and information from cyber threats? Here are some free tools and resources for small and medium-sized businesses to get started.

  1. CyberSecure Canada Program – This program offers a free, self-paced online eLearning course that will help you understand the certification requirements. You may be eligible to receive funding to help offset the costs of implementing cyber security controls and getting certified. Learn more by visiting the Canada Digital Adoption Program webpage.
    1. Free eLearning series: Self-paced modules designed for learners with minimal technical knowledge
    2. 13 Measures to Enhance Cybersecurity for Small and Medium Organizations
    3. Get cyber certified: Voluntary federal certification designed to help your organization improve its cybersecurity practices
  2. Simple Secure: Cyber security fundamentals e-learning modules for business owners:
    1. 10 Steps to an Effective Cybersecurity Program for small and medium-sized businesses to minimize cyber risks
  3. Assemblyline – a malware detection and analysis tool developed by the Canadian Centre Cyber Centre and released to the cyber security community.

Turning cyber security into a competitive advantage

Businesses can leverage cyber security as a positive differentiator by showcasing transparency and reassuring their customers, partners, investors and suppliers that valuable information will be secured.

Furthermore, being cyber certified can improve your organization’s cyber security knowledge and ensure your business is eligible to compete for new business opportunities that require cyber security certification. By being proactive in cyber security controls, it can help limit the impacts of a cyber incident including financial loss, reputation damage and loss in critical infrastructure, litigation and job losses.

For more information, visit CyberSecure Canada website and learn more about the cyber security certification program for small and medium-sized organizations.

The City of Vaughan Economic Development teams offers advice to entrepreneurs and businesses of all stages and sizes. Book a consultation today.

For more information on Vaughan Smart City initiatives please contact Kitty Yung , Project Manager, Smart City at