OTTOWA, Canada—Canada’s federal government has launched a cybersecurity certification program for small and mid-sized businesses in hopes of increasing the attention SMBs pay to cybersecurity as well as increasing the confidence of online shoppers who buy from Canadian sites.
The CyberSecure Canada program allows organizations to prove to a certification body approved by the Standards Council of Canada that they meet certain minimum standards. Those that pass are entitled to use a logo on websites and promotional material attesting that they have met the standard. They will also be listed in a searchable registry available for consumers and partners, IT World Canada reported.
The program is tailored specifically for SMBs (up to 499 employees) because they have fewer IT resources, and they account for a significant number of data breaches, IT World Canada said.
According to StaySafeOnline.org, which is overseen by Public Safety Canada, 71% of data breaches happen to small businesses, adding that nearly half of all Canadian small businesses have been the victim of a cyberattack.
However, enterprise-sized companies and not-for-profits are also eligible.
Investment in the ‘Future’
Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau made the announcement at the University of New Brunswick’s Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity.
“There’s so much Canadians can do online—from connecting with friends and family, to personal shopping, to building a business,” he said in a statement. “This online activity is good for our economy and helps create good, well-paying jobs. At the same time, it’s critical that Canadians feel confident about the security of their interactions and information. Today’s announcement is an investment in skills, in businesses and in the future of our economy.”