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A new upward trajectory of Cyberattacks in Canada

Canada and the world have been witnessing a rise in the cyberattacks with ransomware which accounts for nearly 70% of incidents, according to a new report* from the law firm Blake, Cassels & Graydon.

The report* has published that almost 2/3rds of organizations were ransomware attacks this year and they paid a ransom, up to 170% equivalent to CA$ 546,000, up and above more than 56% than the previous 2 years back.

Sunny Handa, the national practice group leader of Blakes’ Technology and Communication Law Group said that for organizations, irrespective of the size, this is a serious risk that needs immediate attention. Cybersecurity has matured over the years and it is no more a simple IT issue and organizations need to seriously invest in this sector for the protection and the safeguarding of their business.

“There is no free lunch here. You are not going to get away with it, you will eventually get hit,” he said. Handa had observed last year that the expertise of lawyers in the field of cybersecurity are lacking to meet the requirement of clients who have faced cybercrimes and are looking for legal redressals. The need of the hour and inclination of the law firms are now being focussed around developing the expertise that is needed in finding solutions of persistent cases of cybercrimes.

With Blakes, Handa operates with their client’s management team to guide them on the steps that are required to be taken post attack. They operate on the swiftest mode to manage the crisis on behalf of their clients after the cyberattack.

Lawyers need to work proactively like experts during a cyber crisis of clients, supervising the whole operations of the business of the client starting from taking data backups, to dealing with customers as well as suppliers. After the Ukraine War in 2022 especially the threat group has increased their attacks. Data accession in 77% of the cases, were up from 69% comparing the previous year and 52% comparing the year before that. The share of attacks where data was exfiltrated also rose to 68%, from 51% last year.

The report* also has clearly stated the rise in the amount that are being paid by organizations in order to safeguard their business indicates the profoundness of the impact that ransomware can have on the operations and the vulnerability of the business enterprises due to inadequacy of software preparedness.

In Canadian courts, a Judge sentenced a former government IT employee in 2022 for the first time with a sentence of under 7 years in prison along with a compensation totalling C$2.8 million for his part in a series of NetWalker ransomware attacks.

“We are at the tip of the iceberg on this stuff,” said Handa.

The report* stated that the response in the civil courts in Canada were mixed for plaintiffs relating to hacks. This is primarily due to the vacuum or the lack of evidence which creates a great difficulty to prove the privacy breach, let alone be for seeking of compensation for the loss or damage caused due to ransomware attacks.

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