Ministers urge Canadian organizations to take action against ransomware

News release

Ottawa, December 6, 2021  – Ottawa, Ontario –

Today the Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Anita Anand, the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, the Hon. Bill Blair, the Minister of Public Safety, the Hon. Marco Mendicino and the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, the Hon. Mary Ng co-signed an open letter to Canadian organizations urging them to adopt cyber security best practices against ransomware.

To help guide organizations, the Communications Security Establishment’s Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) has published an updated ransomware threat bulletin, and a new ransomware playbook. The threat bulletin gives a comprehensive overview of the ransomware threat landscape, and the playbook outlines the most effective cyber security actions to take to protect against ransomware, as well as what to do if you fall victim to a ransomware attack.


“The good news is the vast majority of ransomware attacks can be stopped by adopting basic cyber security measures. The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) has a dedicated web page of ransomware resources, including the new ransomware playbook. We strongly encourage Canadian organizations to review their cyber defences right away with the ransomware threat top of mind.”

-       The Honourable Anita Anand,
Minister of National Defence

“Ransomware has become increasingly common and poses a significant risk to the security and economic prosperity of Canadian organizations and individuals. The Government of Canada is working to combat cybercrime, to protect Canadians and to raise the cyber security bar across Canada, but organizations can and must do everything possible to defend themselves.”

-       The Honourable Bill Blair,
Minister of Emergency Preparedness

“We all have a role to play to fight cybercrime. It is important for organizations to report ransomware incidents so that law enforcement can help the victim, identify linkages with other incidents and gather the evidence they need to bring cybercriminals to justice.”

-       The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino,
Minister of Public Safety

“The impact of ransomware can be devastating, including core business downtime, data breaches, loss of intellectual property and expensive recovery costs. As a highly-connected society, Canada is among the top countries targeted by cybercriminals and unfortunately no organization is immune.”

-       The Honourable Mary Ng,
Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Canada is among the top countries impacted by ransomware.

  • The frequency of ransomware attacks around the world increased 151% from 2020 to 2021.

  • The average ransom payment worldwide is around $200,000 CAD.

  • The average cost of recovery from ransomware worldwide has more than doubled in the past year from $970,722 CAD in 2020 to $2.3M CAD in 2021.

  • In the first half of 2021, more than half of Canadian victims of ransomware were critical infrastructure providers, including the energy, health, and manufacturing sectors.

  • Since March 2020, nearly a quarter of Canadian small businesses have experienced some kind of malign cyber incident.

  • We strongly recommend anyone who has been a victim of ransomware to contact your local police immediately. We also recommend you report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre via their online reporting system or by phone at 1-888-495-8501 and via the Cyber Centre’s online reporting portal.

Associated links


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For more information (media only) please contact:

Daniel Minden, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of National Defence

James Cudmore, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Alice Hansen, Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

CSE Media Relations

RCMP Media Relations

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