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IT Security Breaches Reach Crisis Proportions

December 18, 2008 11:00 AM

Alarming figures on increasing number of IT security attacks a wake-up call for Canadians

Vaclav Vincalek
President/CEO
Pacific Coast Information Systems Ltd

Corporate Canada is guilty of terrible negligence when it comes to protecting consumers’ private data from IT security breaches and web hackers, says Pacific Coast Information Systems President Vaclav Vincalek.

“The latest figures we see from CA Canada are just the latest terrifying statistics that point to a disturbing trend of web insecurity,” Vincalek says. “The national survey showed that more than 20 per cent of enterprises reported a loss of private data as a result of security attacks and breaches, up from 10 per cent two years ago. Intellectual property losses doubled from 2006 to 2008. Clearly, corporate Canada is not doing enough to ensure information is secure, whether it’s their own information or their clients’. This is astounding.”

Coming on top of the recent findings by Privacy Commissioner of Canada Jennifer Stoddart that most companies lack basic privacy and security measures, the implications are frightening for any website user and consumer.

Vincalek notes that companies that fail to implement security measures such as password protection and website vulnerability audits may open themselves up to huge financial and legal liabilities. “And that’s not all – businesses live or die on their reputation. If a company suffers a breach that makes hundreds or thousands of customers’ information available to thieves and that makes the 11 o’ clock news, that company’s reputation and stock is going to take a hit.”

Typical IT security measures like firewalls and virus scanning software are completely useless against attacks on websites and web applications, Vincalek notes. Since up to 75 per cent of hacker attacks are directed against those types of targets, companies that fail to protect website users are opening themselves up to inevitable problems.

“The kicker is that the technology service solutions already exist for corporate Canada to take control of security,” Vincalek says. “As it stands right now, not enough companies are using them, and that’s making the entire Internet a very unsafe tool for any computer user.”

Pacific Coast Information Systems (PCIS) Ltd. is a full-service technology and consulting firm based in Vancouver. Founded in 1995, PCIS provides technical assessment & services, business analysis, and IT project management.









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