While security, in general, is a huge concern for organizations, the majority of Canadian chief security officers are particularly focusing on intrusion prevention (39 per cent) and ransomware protection (35 per cent), the survey found.
The findings dovetail with other polls results which indicate an increasing prevalence of ransomware attacks globally.
The Second Annual State of Ransomware Report of cyber security firm Malwarebytes polled 1,054 companies with less than 1,000 employees across North America, Europe, and Asia, to determine the impact of cyberattacks on small and medium sized businesses.
The survey, conducted by the United States-based Osterman Research, found that 73 per cent of businesses surveyed in Canada, the U.S., Germany, and the United Kingdom admitted they been hit by a cyberattack during the previous 12 months. As many as 39 per cent of the respondents said they were victims of a ransomware attack.
The U.S. is generally considered to be the most affected country by ransomware attacks but Canada ranks a close second, according to Bennett Jones LLP.
Ransomware attacks against the public, legal, and financial sectors are expected to increase in 2017, a report from the Toronto legal firm said.
The federal government reports that about 70 per cent of Canadian businesses have been victims of cyberattacks. The government estimates that the average cost of an attack is $15,000 per incident.
Global business consulting firm Accenture also reports that a lot of Canadian businesses are not prepared to deal with current security threats.
In a global survey of 2,000 enterprise security professionals, Accenture found that “most Canadian companies do not have effective technologies in place to monitor for cyberattacks and a focused on risk outcomes that have not kept pace with the threat.”
“With all of the changes with cloud and security, it can be very difficult for organizations to stay on top of what is new, what is important and how it impacts them,” said Daniel Reio, director of product and partner management for CDW Canada
The CDW survey also revealed other technology trends that Canadian IT decision makers are keeping an eye on these days.
The poll found that another area of focus for Canadian organizations is the cloud.
As many as with 50 per cent of businesses indicated their cloud strategy for 2017 includes hybrid solutions, moving workloads over time; while 16 per cent were planning to be “cloud-first” going forward.
In the data centre, redundancy is a key goal (29 per cent), followed by expansion and scalability (27 per cent) and cost reduction (26 per cent).
Canadian organizations in the public and private sectors also cited analytics and big data, as well as the Internet of Things (IoT), as the top combined emerging technologies that will have the most impact on their business in the next 12 to 18 months, with 28 and 27 per cent respectively.
“As the Canadian market continues to focus on a hybrid world and as technology continues to expand exposing threats, our team of technology experts is helping customers navigate their ever-changing environment,” Reio said.
Other findings from the survey include:
Canadian organizations’ unified communications strategies include integration of new features or products into current tools/applications (32 per cent), and upgrading or updating current tools and applications (31 per cent).
Just over a quarter of respondents said they would continue to use current tools and applications (26 per cent) while only 10 per cent said they would replace current legacy tools and applications with new technologies.
When considering partner services, Canadian organizations look most for support during deployments and upgrades (31 per cent). This was followed by migrations and replacements (21 per cent), managed services (19 per cent), and architecture and design (15 per cent).
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