The Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce
Senators probe cybersecurity and cyberfraud in Canada
October 26, 2017
The Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce launched a study on cybersecurity and cyberfraud last week with the goal of helping reduce this 21st-century criminal activity that bilks millions of Canadians out of their hard-earned savings every year.
Eight million Canadians fell victim to cybercrime last year. With this number anticipated to grow, the committee wants to find out what needs to be done to counter this threat to the financial security of millions of innocent Canadians.
The committee will examine:
- Cyberthreats to Canada’s financial and commercial sectors;
- Identity theft, privacy breaches and other fraudulent activities that target Canadian consumers and small businesses;
- The state of cybersecurity technologies;
- Cybersecurity measures and regulations in Canada and abroad.
Throughout the study, senators will hear from a variety of witnesses, including representatives from government, industry associations, cybersecurity experts and firms, small businesses, chambers of commerce, think tanks, academics and researchers.
The committee intends to release a report with recommendations for the federal government by June 30, 2018.
- Cyberattacks can be fatal to businesses. Approximately 60% of small businesses will go out of business within six months of a cyberattack, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business says.
- In 2015, fraud accounted for 47.1% of cybercrimes reported by Canadians police services in the Incident-based Uniform Crime Reporting Survey, whereas identity theft and identity fraud respectively accounted for 1.1% and 3.9%, Statistics Canada says.
- In its 2014 report, Net Losses: Estimating the Global Cost of Cybercrime, the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated Cybercrime cost Canada 0.17% of its gross domestic product, equivalent to more than $3 billion per year.
“Cybersecurity is a national priority especially since the volume and severity of cybercrime affecting Canadians and businesses has increased significantly. We must ensure that the federal government is working with partners, including those in the private sector, to build sufficient infrastructure to mitigate risk and leverage digital technology effectively to protect Canadians.”
- Senator David Tkachuk, chair of the committee
“We are studying cybersecurity and cyberfraud to get a full picture of the implications for Canadians in their day to day lives. How prepared are we for attacks and their effects on banking, privacy and data collection? We have an obligation to inform ourselves and bring forward recommendations.”
- Senator Joseph A. Day, deputy chair of the committee
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