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Survey finds small business owners don't know they're vulnerable to cyber attacks

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the Insurance Bureau of Canada says it's a good time for business owners to assess their cyber risk.

“IBM showed that Canada is actually the third most expensive place for a data breach,” said Mahan Azimi, a policy adviser with the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“It was something like $6.9 million was the average cost of a data breach, which is the third highest in the world.”

More than 1,500 Canadian business owners who responded to a recent poll said their businesses weren't big enough to attract cybercriminals.

“And that number rises to 73 per cent for sole proprietors," said Azimi.

"There does seem to be this sense among different businesses that, you know, we’re too small, no one’s going to come after us, but frankly anyone who operates online does face some level of risk.”

Officials in Timmins said cyber attacks have affected businesses throughout the region.

Paul Brunet, owner of Great White North Technology Consulting, said there are simple steps to take to protect data.

"It's really important for businesses and for individuals to start using some of the enhanced security features, like multi-factor authentication, to better protect their information,” Brunet said.

“(Don’t) use the same type of passwords across multiple websites, so if there is a breach on one, the hacker doesn't have access to the rest of the websites.”

The Timmins Police Service also would like to be made aware of any local cyber attacks.

“It can result in perhaps a media advisory, advising businesses that this is underway or it can be a very intensive investigation depending on the nature of the offence," said Marc Depatie, police communications coordinator.

The Timmins Chamber of Commerce is hosting an online information session in conjunction with Great White North Technology Consulting next Thursday. Business owners will learn how to protect and secure all their devices and data. Top Stories

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