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Calgary police cybersecurity seminar aimed at small businesses

Calgary police seminar on cyber security aimed at small businesses
WATCH ABOVE: Calgary police held a free cyber security seminar aimed at a vulnerable sector in the city’s business sector on Tuesday night. They say cyber attacks are happening with increasing regularity, and they want it to stop. David Boushy explains.

Cybercrime is a world-wide problem, and Calgary is no exception, according to Jeremy Wittman, staff sergeant of the Calgary Police Service Cyber/Forensics Unit.

“We’re starting to see more and more of them,” said Wittman, referring to ransomware and phishing attacks, the two most commonly used by cyber thieves.

“Anybody, which is pretty much everybody today, who is connected to the internet and has some sort of customer client data or a point of sale, some of them are medical offices, some are law offices and some are retail,” Wittman said.

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In an effort to combat the problem, the CPS Cyber/Forensics Unit decided to hold a free seminar for small businesses. They are especially vulnerable to attacks.

“Because a lot of these types of businesses don’t have formal IT departments, we thought it would be a good idea to reach out and give some of the information from crimes that we’re seeing reported that they may not be aware of, but with a little bit of education hopefully they can help protect themselves.”

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About 50 registrants heard presentations from three constables.

Evelyn Drake and members of her team from The Camera Store came to see if they can better guard against fraud.

“As a camera equipment retailer we get targeted a lot with online fraud, so we thought we would come and see what CPS has to say, and see if there’s any more resources that we haven’t thought of or any new tactics that we can use to deal with it,” Drake said.

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Jackie Ruhl of Pixie’s Candy Parlour is interested in safeguarding her clients’ personal information.

“We’re basically here so that we can protect our customers, since we collect emails. And we want to know the regulations on how to protect them and their personal information,” Ruhl said.

Colyn deGraaff of the Calgary Immigrant Educational Society wants to keep a step ahead of cyber thieves.

“It’s a really good opportunity for us to be able to keep on top of best practices, but also to make sure that we’re staying on our toes,” deGraaff said.