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Data breaches cost businesses nearly $6M on average: Mastercard

A new one report Mastercard shows that the average data breach costs Canadian businesses $5.64 million, while only 39 percent of businesses have adequate cybersecurity tools in place.

However, the average cost of a data breach is higher for the US at $9.4 million.

According to the report, cybercrime has increased by 600 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic with remote work leading to a 238 percent increase in cyber attacks.

The report notes that the growth of cyber threats has risen to a current global value of $6 trillion, which is one percent of global GDP. The study estimates that this cost will increase by $4.5 trillion over the next few years.

Several major Canadian companies and organizations have fallen victim to cyber security breaches in recent months, including Indigo, Sobeys, SickKids Hospital in Toronto and the LCBO.

Mastercard also surveyed Canadian businesses and consumers and found that only half of consumers change their passwords when prompted by the platform when they’re hacked or don’t change them at all. Half also say use the same password on most of their accounts.

The survey shows that more than half (53 percent) of Canadian consumers have experienced a security threat because they rely heavily on businesses to protect them.

Breaking down the data, 86 percent of Canadian consumers said they were concerned about digital security threats, while 53 percent said they had already experienced a security issue.

To avoid potential risks, 68 percent of Canadian consumers prefer to use a third-party payment platform, as 82 percent do not trust the company to protect their data, according to the survey.

The study also found that 38 percent of Canadian consumers surveyed said their accounts had been hacked through fake text messages, and a similar percentage had experienced phone scams.

Meanwhile, more than three-quarters (34 percent) of Canadian businesses said they experienced fraud when using Internet software or services.

In addition, 38 percent of Canadian businesses said they have experienced digital payment fraud, while the same percentage have experienced fraudulent account capture. Another 33 percent said they had experienced identity theft, and 40 percent said their accounts had been hacked.

In general, consumers are worried about having their identity stolen from information shared with a retailer, data breaches at the companies they shop with, and having their data stolen through phishing. Some 91 percent say they believe companies should spend more to protect their data, while 81 percent of consumers say they don’t trust any company to protect their information.


The survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, surveyed 4,009 individuals (2,002 from Canada) and 502 business leaders (102 from Canada). Individuals were interviewed between October 26 and October 31, and business leaders between November 9 and November 15.

Reporting for this story was paid for through the Meta-funded Afghanistan Reporters in Residence program.

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