Study shows small businesses are less concerned with cyberattacks despite continued risk

TORONTO, May 18, 2023 – According to a Northbridge Insurance study, cyberattacks and data breaches aren’t considered significant threats by small and medium-sized businesses despite the real risk they pose, and businesses have become less concerned about them over time.

The three-year study, which was conducted in partnership with Leger Research and surveyed over 800 Canadian businesses across various industries, identified the perceived operational risks and uncertainties facing small and medium-sized businesses and how they have changed over time.

Of all the risks identified, financial stability was most concerning while cybersecurity ranked very low – coming up for only three per cent of respondents. Larger businesses perceive it as being more relevant while smaller businesses believe they’re at a lower risk given their size, lack of sensitive information, and not having been previously targeted by an attack.

The study also found that the percentage of small and medium-sized businesses that consider cyberattacks and data breaches a threat has decreased over time, as has the percentage that feel exposed to cyber threats.

These findings contrast sharply with actual statistics – according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), nearly half of small businesses (45 per cent) experienced a random cyberattack in the past year, and 27 per cent experienced a targeted attack. These incidents can have big financial impacts, resulting in lost revenue and productivity; unexpected costs related to breach response, repair, and recovery; and even reputational harm to the business.

“That’s why it’s important to consider both your offline and online exposures as part of your risk management plan,” says Paul Gardner, Senior Vice President of Corporate Underwriting and Risk Services at Northbridge Insurance. “There are many cybersecurity resources available to small and medium-sized businesses, including the Government of Canada’s ‘Get Cyber Safe’ tools. Cyber coverage can also add another layer of protection when purchased as part of your business insurance policy.”

To learn more about Northbridge’s cyber solutions, visit our Cyber Risk insurance page today.

About Northbridge Insurance

Northbridge Insurance is a leading Canadian commercial insurer. Working with our broker partners, we aim to help businesses of all sizes. We use our in-depth industry expertise to help medium and large businesses operate more safely, so they can worry less and focus on opportunities. We also work to provide small businesses with insurance protection that’s responsive, simple, and flexible. Visit us at to learn more.

For further information, please contact:

Ellen Brait
Manager, Content Marketing and Communications
Northbridge Insurance
[email protected]

This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information.

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