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The state of cybersecurity and privacy

Canadian CEOs are seeing a shift in what it takes to protect their organizations. As security, financial crime, safety, reliability, privacy and data ethics become increasingly complex and intertwined, CEOs can differentiate themselves in the market with an integrated, proactive approach to building digital trust that keeps the organization moving forward with speed and agility. 


80% of Canadian CEOs

say they’re concerned about cybersecurity as a threat to their growth prospects.

90% of Canadian CEOs

say the increasing complexity of threats is having the greatest impact in shaping their cybersecurity strategy.

Turning cybersecurity and
privacy into an opportunity

Organic growth and operational efficiencies are key growth activities for four out of five Canadian CEOs. In pursuit of this, Canadian organizations are implementing new technologies to transform their front office, back office, core operations and supply chain functions. Cyber and privacy risks are now everywhere, permeating the entire business ecosystem with the increasing use of technology and data. So it’s no surprise that Canadian CEOs see cybersecurity and privacy as a top concern, looking for the opportunity to innovate with speed while building digital trust.

Growing complexity of cyber threats

Three important factors are complicating cyber risk management. Firstly, drivers external to the organization, such as new threat actors and attack methods, new technologies and geopolitical tensions, are continuously changing the cyber risk profile. Secondly, as organizations pivot toward a digital business model, exponentially more data is being generated and shared among organizations, partners and customers, exposing them to new vulnerabilities. Lastly, organizations are struggling to meet the increasing expectations of their regulators relating to cybersecurity and privacy, especially Canadian organizations operating in multiple jurisdictions around the world.

Making up ground to build trust in a digital world

Businesses and governments need to collaborate in order to build digital trust. But there’s significant ground to be made up around how the public and private sectors develop the right policies and regulations. Only a quarter of Canadian CEOs say that governments are designing privacy regulations that actually increase consumer trust and that governments and businesses are effectively collaborating to harmonize cybersecurity strategies. Public and private sector collaboration is essential to build a secure and resilient society and make Canada a thriving economy in a digital and data-driven world.

The cybersecurity and privacy playbook

Adopt a comprehensive cyber risk management program

The program should address specific risks and digital crown jewels for the business, identify how management keeps current with new threats and include a tested cyber-incident response plan that contains robust communication and brand-management protocols.

Grow through secure digital transformation

Many organizations are transforming their business model by using emerging technologies (e.g. artificial intelligence, industrial systems, robotics, Internet of Things and 5G) to develop new products or automate their operations. It’s important to understand the new threats and vulnerabilities this will introduce and design transformation strategies with security in mind from the start.


Use data with confidence

Growing privacy regulations are creating doubts as organizations use data, resulting in missed business opportunities or regulatory breaches. Organizations that integrate privacy and data ethics as core principles in their enterprise data strategy and governance can use data with confidence to create new opportunities.

Unite your lines of defence

As security, financial crime, safety, reliability, privacy and data ethics become increasingly intertwined, leading organizations are taking a proactive approach to build digital trust. They’re integrating their traditionally siloed strategies so they can innovate with speed and confidence.

Develop a talent and upskilling plan

Organizations will need access to the right talent. They should develop a plan for attracting, growing and retaining cybersecurity and privacy talent in an increasingly competitive market. This should include partnerships with academia, industry associations and service providers. Organizations should also upskill their front-line business and technology teams to manage digital risks closer to where they occur, and not rely solely on their cybersecurity and privacy functions.

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Contact us

Nicolas Marcoux

Nicolas Marcoux

Chief Executive Officer, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 514 205 5302

Matthew Wetmore

Matthew Wetmore

National Managing Partner, Clients & Markets, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 403 509 7483

Sajith Nair

Sajith Nair

Managed Services Leader, PwC Canada

Tel: +1 416 815 5185