Security breaches reported to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada have skyrocketed since the country introduced its new privacy law on November 1, 2018. 

A blog published by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada claims they have received 680 breach reports within the last year, six times the number they received during the same period just one year prior. 

The agency's report claims that security breach reports have soared since the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) went into effect this time last year. PIPEDA requires organizations to report any security breaches involving personal information that pose a real threat to individuals. 

Organizations must also notify the impacted individuals about any breach of their PII, and keep up to date records of all data breaches within the organization. This is a big step in the right direction as breach reporting was previously done on a voluntary basis. 

Since reporting became mandatory, the agency has seen a number of reports involving more well-known larger enterprises but has also seen a big chunk of reporting come from small and medium-sized businesses as well. 

The blog post claims the number of Canadians impacted by a data breach is more than 28 million. Some additional findings noted include:

  • 58% of reported breaches were found to involve unauthorized access
  • 1 out of 4 reported incidents involved social engineering techniques like phishing and impersonation
  • Over 1 in 5 breaches reported involved accidental disclosure
  • 12 percent of breaches involved the loss of a computer, storage drive, or physical paper files
  • 8 percent of breaches involved the theft of documents, computers, or computer components

To avoid being the next victim of a data breach, NNT suggests adopting a layered security approach and minimizing your attack surface. This includes ensuring that systems are hardened in line with industry-leading security configuration standards like the CIS Benchmarks


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