Cybercrimes are trending up

Here are our early predictions for what will be hot in 2024: Lavender mocktails, tube tops, middle-distance running, aaand rampant cybercrime. 

Driving the news: Per a new report from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and the RCMP, organized cybercrime activity will “very likely” increase over the next two years, posing a threat to Canada’s national security, economic prosperity, and critical infrastructure.

  • The report pegged Russia as a hotbed for cyber criminals who will receive "near impunity" and state cooperation if they don’t target Russia. Iran also received a (dis)honourable mention. 

Why it matters: Criminals will likely target critical infrastructure operators, which are more willing to pay up to avoid disruptions. Increased attacks mean increased risks to your data—this June, an attack on the popular file transfer service MOVEit resulted in the leak of banking and personal info of 100,000 Nova Scotians.

  • Cybercrimes could even compromise your health. A 2021 ransomware attack on Newfoundland’s healthcare system affected one in ten people in the province.

  • 2021 survey of hospitals that were cyberattack victims found that the incidents disrupted their ability to care for patients and, in some cases, increased deaths. 

What’s next: Canada is the only G7 nation without a comprehensive regulatory framework for cybersecurity. To remedy this, the government tabled Bill C-26 last year. If it passes, which could happen this year, it would require critical federally-regulated industries to report cybersecurity incidents (somehow not already a thing) and beef up their defences.—QH