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Cybersecurity and AI continue to be priorities for Canadian it businesses in 2018

2018 proved to be an exciting year in technology for many Canadian businesses with AI and cybersecurity topping the list of priorities to invest in. At NOVIPRO, we have been able to follow the evolution of behaviours and opinions on current topics in technology through our annual IT study of Canadian Businesses.

According to our third annual study with Léger[1], AI adoption is on the rise amongst mid to large-sized Canadian companies with more than one-third (34%) of businesses planning to invest in Artificial Intelligence within the next two years. This represents an increase of 48% compared to 2017.  It’s encouraging to see Canadian businesses embrace new technologies, like AI. It’s important however, that companies are properly equipped to manage these new technologies, so they’re an asset, not an issue.


Cybersecurity still important to businesses

Despite advances in IT and AI, our survey reveals that cybersecurity remains the Achilles' heel for most businesses across the country. Although this was a greater concern for business leaders in 2018 than in previous years, the number of businesses conducting security audits year over year has decreased significantly.

Some of the key insights found in the survey include:

  • More than half (57%) own confidential information on their clients and of these, nearly four in five (79%) have already fallen victim to a cyberattack.
  • There is a lack of processes for managing a cyber attack as a quarter of businesses (25%) don’t have recovery plan and nearly half (49%) would write a note to their clients in the event of a data breach.
  • Businesses from Atlantic (43%) and Prairies (38%) experienced the most attacks in 2018.
  • Most targeted industries for cyber attacks are agriculture (50%) and the construction and real estate (40%) sectors


With the 4.0 transformation under way, companies have more reason to take safety seriously. The recent Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), will require companies to change their practices in the event of a cyber attack. After the General Data Protection Regulation (the "GDPR") in Europe, it’s time for Canada to follow suit. As Canadian businesses continue to lead the charge on new technologies, its important for them to commit to better securities and processes to protect their investments.

Better perception of IT, but not Security

Canadian companies have a better understanding of their IT systems. There is greater awareness of the strategic role of technology now than just two years ago – 38% vs 21%.

In 2016, one out of five companies considered their technological infrastructures to be avant-garde, but in 2018, the proportion increased by almost 70%. More than half of Canadian businesses thought the future was in the cloud, but felt they were not ready to implement this change. In 2018, 44% of the companies’ surveyed say that cloud computing has made them better than ever.

Some businesses may see AI as unnecessary, but AI can be a business ally to organizations. Among the many advantages of AI, user behaviour analysis techniques can detect anomalies, in order to prevent attacks and react effectively.

The duo of AI and cybersecurity has a bright future. NOVIPRO has qualified experts to advise and answer any questions on these evolving technologies. We thank you for your trust and look forward to seeing the continued evolution of IT in 2019!


About the NOVIPRO/LÉGER survey:

The survey was conducted online from November 1 to 21, 2018, among 476 IT decision makers (300) and other corporate sectors (176). All respondents were employed by large (500+ employees) and medium (100 to 499 employees) Canadian companies.