Canadian SMB cyberattack risk spikes once $10 million annual revenue reached

New data from ESET shows one in four Canadian SMBs with annual revenue over $10M have been been victims of a cyberattack, compared to only one in 10 with annual revenue under $10M

TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2016 /CNW/ - Canadian small and medium business owners should take note that as their business grows, so does the risk of a cyberattack. That risk grows exponentially after they reach the business milestone of $10 million in annual revenue.

New Canadian data from internet security provider, ESET, and market research group Ipsos, shows that one in four Canadian SMBs with yearly revenues of $10 million or more have been victims of a cyberattack, compared to only one in 10 Canadian SMBs with revenues under that threshold.

"These SMBs with revenue over $10 million are exceptionally vulnerable to cybercriminal activity," says Iva Peric-Lightfoot, country manager, ESET Canada. "Businesses of this size have the same attractive assets as enterprise-level organizations, but tend to have a lower level of protection and less sophisticated security solutions in place."

The data also shows that one in five Canadian SMBs who have been a victim of a cyberattack have suffered a significant loss to their business because of their inability to service customers.  Considering the fact that SMBs make up 98 per cent of the businesses in Canada, these attacks have real implications for the health of Canada's economy.

Additionally, ESET and Ipsos found that:

  • The majority of Canadian SMBs would be unable to function for more than a few days without access to their data. Sixty-five per cent of Canadian SMBs said they can only function for a few hours or days without access to their data, and a full 15 per cent of Canadian SMBs would have to cease functioning immediately.

  • Employees of Canadian SMBs believe their companies devote enough resources to cybersecurity, but are not convinced that they are safe from attack. While seven in 10 Canadians employed at SMBs feel their company is devoting enough resources to cybersecurity, only 33 per cent of them feel 'very confident' their company is safe from attack.
  • Canadian SMBs lack knowledge of some of the most basic cybersecurity concepts. Less than one third of Canadian SMBs are 'very familiar' with the concepts of ransomware, social engineering and two-factor authentication, bringing into question their ability to judge their company's cybersecurity readiness.

"When an SMB grows, it doesn't just grow in terms of employees and endpoints requiring protection," continues Peric-Lightfoot. "The nature of an SMB's business can change rapidly, particularly as revenue grows, and companies need to adjust their security solutions in tandem with this growth."

She adds, "This is not to say that businesses with under $10 million in revenue should not be concerned. In fact, these are the companies that often have a harder time recovering should a breach or attack happen. They may not be targeted as often, but they also probably don't have the in-office expertise to react quickly. They need to depend on trusted advisors, like value-added resellers and strong security software."

About ESET

Since 1987, ESET® has been developing award-winning security software that now helps over 100 million users to Enjoy Safer Technology. Its broad security product portfolio covers all popular platforms and provides businesses and consumers around the world with the perfect balance of performance and proactive protection. The company has a global sales network covering 180 countries, and regional offices in Bratislava, San Diego, Singapore, Buenos Aires and Toronto. For more information visit or follow us on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter.

In 2015, ESET expanded into Toronto, Canada's largest technology hub, with a Canadian office to complement the existing ESET research offices in Montreal and position ESET to better meet customer demand across Canada. ESET consumer and small business products are available at a number of Canadian re-sellers, including Best Buy, Staples and London Drugs.

About the survey

For this survey, a sample of 1,003 Canadian adults employed at small businesses (defined as companies with 5-99 employees) and medium businesses (defined as companies with 100 to less than 500 employees), who work in IT, are senior management or who have a broad knowledge of their company's IT policies and procedures from Ipsos' online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval.  In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ - 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults employed at small and medium businesses in these job functions been polled.


Image with caption: "ESET Canada (CNW Group/ESET Canada)". Image available at:

For further information: Sarah Blazak, e-mail:, phone: 416-721-3778

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