Canadian small businesses get another cybersecurity training resource

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Members of the Canada Small Business Lobby will have access to free online cybersecurity training in a few months, including lessons on how to stop phishing and ransomware attacks.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), which has 95,000 members across Canada, announced on Monday that it will soon launch a Cyber ​​Security Academy to help raise security awareness for owners and employees of the company.

It will include training modules offered on the Horizn gamification platform that are based on Mastercard’s Trust Center cybersecurity education resources. Those who use the platform will earn points for incentives such as badges and possibly cash, said Mandy D’Autremont, CFIB’s senior director of marketing partnerships.

The academy will launch in the spring or summer, she said.

Meanwhile, CFIB will host a members-only cybersecurity webinar on Thursday.

The academy’s announcement came alongside the release of a CFIB poll in which 72% of small business owners agreed they were more concerned than ever about cyberattacks on their businesses. One in four respondents (24%) have seen an increase in attempted cyberattacks against their business in the past year.

Eight percent of respondents said they had been the victim of a cyberattack that cost them time or money in the past 12 months. On average, these businesses lost CA$26,000, including the value of lost time.

The impact of these attacks on small businesses can be immense, the federation said in a press release, with some losing up to C$500,000, and others reporting a long-term impact on their operations. and their reputation.

The CFIB Cybersecurity Academy adds another free resource for small and medium-sized businesses. Others include content from the federal government’s Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security and the SIMply Secure program offered by Ryerson University’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst.

The academy’s goal is to help small business owners and staff understand how to better protect their businesses, D’Autremont said in an interview. “Overall it [a cyber attack] can be quite scary for a business,” she said.

D’Auteremont acknowledged that many small businesses believe they are too small to be attacked. “That’s part of what we’re hoping to communicate to small businesses – that they’re not too small to be targeted or victimized by a cyberattack. They could be targeted for their employees or their banking information, or for their data, so to help an attacker obtain information about the bank the company works with.They could be the gateway to an attack on a supplier.And they can be held for ransom.

Initially, the academy will offer six training modules via Horizn: Basics of cybersecurity; how to stop phishing and ransomware; how to identify attacks via social media; how to recognize fraud; how to manage chargebacks online; and how to create a code of conduct for credit cards.

When asked how she would define success at the academy, D’Autremont said that “it would be great if at least half of CFIB members were in this training program by the end of this year. “.

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