VANCOUVER, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Sixty-nine percent of Canadian companies have reported some kind of cyber attack over the past year, indicating that cyber crime is fairly prevalent among Canadian businesses, according to a study released Wednesday.
The study, conducted by The International Cyber Security Protection Alliance, a non-profit organization comprising large national and multi-national companies, was based on 520 small, medium and large Canadian businesses.
It showed that malware and virus attacks are the most prevalent types of attack, followed by phishing and social engineering. Other frequently occurred cyber crimes include unauthorized access or misuse of corporate websites, misuse of social networks, as well as telecommunication fraud.
About a quarter of those interviewed said that attacks had a considerable impact on their business both in terms of financial loss and reputational damage, with a total of more than 5 million Canadian dollars loss reported.
The study also showed considerable gaps in Canadian businesses' preparedness against cyber crime. Large businesses are somewhat better prepared than medium and small ones, but still much remains to be done to prevent and deal with such attacks.
The help of external agencies to assist with cyber crime incidents was reported by 44 percent of affected organizations, with private agencies far more likely to be engaged than those from government.
The study reinforced the need for close collaboration between the public and private sector in fighting cyber crime through the pooling of knowledge and resources, it said.