cybersecurity of network of connected devices and personal data security, concept on virtual interface with consultant in background

The vast majority of Canadian companies have cyber security protocols in place, yet many still fall behind when it comes to testing their systems, according to new research from KPMG LLP. 

The Toronto-based firm’s 2021 Cyber Security Poll found that 94% of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) monitored for potential cyber attacks, but barely more than half (56%) said they actually test the effectiveness of their defences.

In addition, only 39% of businesses said they were “very confident” in their ability to detect and respond to cyber attacks, with 59% saying they were “somewhat confident” and the remaining 2% saying they were “not confident at all.”

Only about two in five (38%) say cyber security is “deeply embedded” into all aspects of their business, with nearly half (48%) saying they plan to increase their cyber security spending by as much as 20% within the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, Canadian consumers remained “highly concerned” about cyber breaches.

Ninety-three percent of consumers said they were wary of sharing their personal or financial information with an organization that has had a data breach in the past. As well, 78% feared their personal data could be stolen in a cyber attack on their financial institution. 

The vast majority of consumers (89%) said they’re extra cautious when shopping online, and 58% say they no longer trust the government to keep their personal information safe. Half of the consumers surveyed (52%) also said they support the use of digital authentication measures to access government or business services, if it would provide more security. 

The KPMG 2021 Cyber Security Poll surveyed 1,001 Canadian consumers and 253 small- and medium-sized businesses between Sept. 1 and 13.