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the $113-Billion Crime • Security

“Let’s face it! Information is a commodity. And hackers are more and more sophisticated, especially with new algorithms for data mining. With today’s tremendous connectivity, there is lots of information to be hacked out there.” ~ Dr. Marina Gavrilova

big, clunky PC tower and flimsy flip “Last year, I heard a speaker at a phone. Today’s employees almost security and privacy conference who assume that the boss is perfectly OK said it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ with using personal smartphones and there will be a security breach in most tablets at work. companies,” according to Dr. Marina More and more companies provide Gavrilova, associate professor and mobility as a perk. A major North head of the Biometric Technologies American HR survey found that Laboratory, computer science, at the productivity spikes in workplaces University of Calgary. where staff are fee to use devices that “Let’s face it! Information is a are comfortable for them. commodity. And hackers are more “When it comes to business cyber and more sophisticated, especially breaches, BYOD is more of a factor with new algorithms for data mining. than ever,” Lu emphasizes. “The Most small businesses, consumers and horses have left the barn. Companies stores are easy targets for information must consider their options and thieves. And hackers link into other Dr. Marina Gavrilova, associate professor and head of the Biometric adapt. What are the best ways to limit sources for more information like Technologies Laboratory, computer science, at the University of Calgary. access and minimize the risks?” names, addresses, dates of birth from Besides, IT consultants point out Facebook, LinkedIn and others. that, at home or at work, desktops and laptops are not as “With today’s tremendous connectivity, there is lots of vulnerable, because they are more likely to have installed information to be hacked out there.” antivirus and anti-malware software. According to reported incident stats, hacker attacks of Canadian consumers and Canadian businesses are so rampant and hard to control that the federal government Disturbing stats also reveal that: actually amended the Criminal Code of Canada to better • More than 60 per cent of Canadian mobile technology protect Canadians from identity theft. users are not even aware about security programs It is not only a Calgary problem but a Canadian and global readily available for smartphones and tablets. epidemic for which there may be no easy answer or cure. • Only 25 per cent of smartphone users have basic and Last year, the various situations of cybercrime cost free security software. Canadians a staggering $3 billion, according to the 2013 • More than 32 per cent have experienced cybercrime in Norton Report, done by the U.S. software giant Symantec the past year. Corporation. The report also cites that about seven million Canadians have been victims of cybercrime in the past year. Globally the cost of cybercrime has risen to an The cyber experts have some caution incomprehensible $113 billion. The dramatic rise in cybercrime is partially attributed to and valuable advice for BYOD users: increased use of mobile devices and open Wi-Fi networks. • Always password-protect your smartphone and tablet The authors of the Norton Report tracked mobile technology and download security software on all your mobile (tablets and smartphones) and BYOD workplace trends devices. for enabling and accelerating personal and work-related • Don’t shop or do your banking online while using a free cybercrimes. Wi-Fi network in a coffee shop or other ‘open’ public Ten years ago, getting a company laptop and BlackBerry places. was considered a thrilling bonus upgrade from the routine, 62 • November 2014 BUSINESS IN CALGARY |

Profile for Business in Calgary

BIC November 2014  

BIC November 2014