A majority of small businesses want to improve their cybersecurity within the next year

CFIB and Mastercard working together on new cybersecurity education project

Toronto, March 28, 2022 - Seven in ten (72%) small business owners are more concerned than ever about cyberattacks on their business, according to a new joint survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) and Mastercard. One in four (24%) small business owners report an increase in cyberattack attempts against their business in the last year.

“The last two years saw a huge number of small businesses increase the amount of business they are doing online, which has many benefits but also introduces new risks,” said Laura Jones, CFIB executive vice-president. “It’s critical to make it easy for business owners to protect themselves in this new environment.”

According to the survey, 8% of small businesses were victims of a cyberattack that cost time or money, in the last year. On average, these businesses lost $26,000, including the value of lost time. The impact on small firms can be immense, with some losing as much as $500,000 and others reporting a long-term impact on their operations and reputation. Cyberattacks include attempts to damage a business’s computer system, stealing money digitally, or stealing banking or client information. 

CFIB and Mastercard are working together to build targeted training that provides small business owners what they need to know regarding cybersecurity in a user-friendly format. Launching later this year, the new CFIB Cybersecurity Academy will deliver digital lessons on a mobile-first and gamified platform for small businesses and their employees. Topics will include preventing ransomware and cyberattacks, recognizing fraud, and identifying and preventing social engineering. With a majority of small businesses (60%) planning to do more to improve their cybersecurity this year, it’s not surprising that over three quarters (76%) of survey respondents say they would be interested in this training.

“We are really excited about this partnership because cybersecurity can feel intimidating and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. According to the survey, 50% of businesses are not sure how to start improving their cybersecurity protection, so we are kickstarting with a webinar next week to help CFIB members up their game on cybersecurity right away,” said Jones.

“Small businesses are vital to our economy and with rising cyberattacks, it’s important that they are equipped with the right resources for success,” said Aviva Klein, Vice President, Digital Payments and Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard in Canada. “Together with CFIB, Mastercard will ensure Canadian small businesses are prepared for today’s cybersecurity threats through the CFIB Cybersecurity Academy.”

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

Emilija Businskas, Vice President, Communications, Mastercard 

CFIB’s Cyberattacks and Your Business Survey: An online survey completed by 2,858 CFIB members between March 8-15, 2022. For comparison purposes, a probability sample with the same number of responses would have a margin of error of ±1.8 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 95,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at cfib.ca.

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.