The Internet and communication technologies provide Canadians, businesses, and institutions with the essential means to access information, offer services and create opportunities. Over the years, however, the exponential growth in these technologies has also increased the potential for cyber threats. Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting and exploiting Canadian citizens, businesses, and our critical infrastructure systems.
Cyber capabilities, once rare and expensive, have now become commonplace and affordable. That, along with the borderless and anonymous nature of cybercrime, amplifies the pool of potential victims.
Cyber security has always been important, but with more and more people relying on the internet for work, day-to-day tasks, business, social connections, financial services and more, it is vital that we learn how to keep ourselves safe.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month and the RCMP is asking Canadians to take time this month to learn about cybercrime, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you are victimized.
What can Canadians do?
- Visit the RCMP's Cyber Safety pages and social media, as well as, Get Cyber Safe's website. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for great cyber tips and information!
- Know how to report a cybercrime or cyber fraud. If an individual, business or organization experiences a cybercrime, they should contact their local police immediately. It's also important that they report the incident, whether they fell victim or not, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre online or toll-free at 1-888-495-8501.
- Share the information you learn with those around you!
What is law enforcement doing?
The criminal exploitation of new and emerging technologies requires new policing measures to keep pace in a digital era. Cybercrime investigations are complex and technical in nature. They require strong domestic and international partnerships, specialized investigative skills, and advanced tools and technologies. The RCMP takes cybercrime seriously and has a number of programs, units and teams actively working on it, including:
- National Cybercrime Coordination Unit (NC3)
- Federal Policing Cybercrime
- Cybercrime Investigative Teams including Cyber Capability Specialists from federal, provincial, local and international police
- Cyber Capability Specialists
- Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
The RCMP works closely with law enforcement partners and other lead security agencies, private and public sectors, including academia in Canada and abroad, to investigate and address cybercrime. Learn more about how we combat cybercrime.
Cybercrime is a significant issue that is having real impacts on individuals, businesses and organizations in Canada and around the world. No one can fight cybercrime alone. The NC3 was created specifically to help bring law enforcement, private, public and non-governmental sectors together to collaborate in combatting cybercrime. Cyber Security Awareness Month serves as a good reminder that everyone has a part to play in cyber security and by doing our part, we will all be better off.Director General Chris Lynam of the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit (NC3) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) at the RCMP
The complex nature of cybercrime means there is no simple solution to stopping it. The best way to tackle this borderless problem is with a team approach. The RCMP is committed to working with victims of cybercrime, our public and private sector partners, academia, and our international law enforcement partners to address the threats to Canadians, find meaningful solutions to reduce the rate of victimization and hold criminals to account for their actions.Acting Director General Kelly Bradshaw, of the Federal Policing Cybercrime and Financial Crime Units, at the RCMP
- Cybercrime continues to be the cyber threat that is most likely to affect Canadians and Canadian organizations.
- It is estimated that only 5-10% of all cybercrimes and fraud are reported to police.
- The RCMP continues to see an increase in ransomware in Canada. Since June 2020, the National Cybercrime Coordination Unit (NC3) has received over 2,200 requests for assistance from domestic and international law enforcement partners. Of these requests, over 30% related to ransomware.
- The NC3 and Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) are working together to implement a new national cybercrime and fraud reporting system. The new system is currently live in a beta version and is accepting up to 25 reports per day. The system is expected to be fully operational by 2024.