ITC security: smaller firms losing business opportunities under Conservatives

The federal government must invest in SMEs to improve their IT security

OTTAWA— The Official Opposition’s critic for Small Business and Tourism, François Lapointe (Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup), says the Conservative government must act soon to help small and medium-sized enterprises improve their computer security to avoid missing out on good business opportunities.

“We shouldn’t wait to see larger companies refusing to do business with smaller players because their computer systems are not secure enough,” said Lapointe. “This situation already has some Canadian SMEs losing out on subcontracting and other business opportunities.”

According to a study done by Symantec, the leading antivirus provider, the portion of pirated computer attacks on businesses with fewer than 250 employees rose from 18% of all attacks in 2011 to 31% in 2012.

In Canada, 40% of all cyber-attacks launched in 2011 directly targeted small and medium-sized businesses. In this context, it is unacceptable for the Conservatives to accept a level of ITC investment among Canadian businesses that is systematically inferior to that of their US competitors.

“The lack of IT investment by Canadian SMEs hinders their development” said Lapointe. “The federal government needs to implement a strategy to help them catch up.”

The Conservative government underscored the importance of IT in its March 2010 Throne Speech, but has yet to follow up with an action plan.