FICO Survey Finds Canadian Firms Feel Overly Confident About Their Cybersecurity

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Fraud Protection & Compliance

TORONTO — July 11, 2018


  • 84 percent of Canada firms surveyed said they are better prepared for data breaches than their competitors — up 32 percent from last year
  • Of eight regions surveyed, Canadians were the most likely to rate their firm a top performer for cybersecurity
  • Retail and e-commerce respondents were least realistic, with 89 percent rating their firm as above average or as top performers, but telecommunications and IT services had the highest percentage who said their firms were top performers
  • Respondents from the power and utilities industries were most realistic, yet 60 per cent still rate their firms above average or top performers
  • Ovum conducted telephone surveys for FICO of IT executives at 500 companies in Canada and 10 other countries

Despite the growth in data breaches, security managers at Canadian firms are incredibly confident in their cybersecurity preparedness, according to a new survey conducted by research and consultancy firm Ovum for Silicon Valley analytics firm FICO. Eighty-four per cent of executives from Canadian firms said their firm was better prepared than their competitors in their industry. Out of the eight regions surveyed, Canadians were the most likely respondents (44 percent) to rate their company as a top performer for cybersecurity protection (compared to only 28 percent in 2017).

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Among Canadian industries, 67 percent of telecommunications and IT services said their firm was a top performer. Financial services firms were second, with 63 per cent calling their firms top performers. The least confident — or most realistic — respondents were in power and utilities, where 20 percent said their firm is a top performer, and 40 per cent said they were above average. While in the retail and e-commerce industry only 18 per cent felt they were top performers, but 71 per cent rated themselves as above average.

Despite this confidence, only 38 per cent of organizations are using tools to provide more than a point-in-time assessment of what their cybersecurity risk is.

“It’s alarming to learn that organizations are overly confident in their cybersecurity preparedness,” said Kevin Deveau, vice president & managing director, FICO Canada. “That amount of confidence can lead to complacency — which is dangerous. Cyber security is an ongoing battle that requires attention. For an overwhelming majority of firms to feel that they are above average shows that there is a lack of understanding of what the industry averages truly are.”

“IT leaders have greater funding than ever to protect organizations from the continuously evolving threat landscape and meet complex compliance demands,” said Maxine Holt, research director at Ovum. “These same IT leaders are undoubtedly keen to believe that the money being spent provides their organization with a better security posture than any other – but the rapid pace of investment, often in point solutions, rarely takes an organization-wide view of security.”

Ovum conducted the survey for FICO through telephone interviews with 500 senior executives, mostly from the IT function, in businesses from Canada, the US, UK, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, India, Finland, Norway, Sweden and South Africa. Respondents represented firms in financial services, telecommunications, retail and ecommerce, and power and utilities.

Last month, FICO announced that it is offering free subscriptions to the Portrait portal of the FICO® Enterprise Risk Suite, which gives businesses access to their FICO® Enterprise Security Score. The score, a machine learning-based cybersecurity rating service, can show organizations how business partners and cyber insurance underwriters see their network security, and can help them benchmark their performance. More information is at

About FICO

FICO (NYSE: FICO) powers decisions that help people and businesses around the world prosper. Founded in 1956 and based in Silicon Valley, the company is a pioneer in the use of predictive analytics and data science to improve operational decisions. FICO holds more than 185 US and foreign patents on technologies that increase profitability, customer satisfaction and growth for businesses in financial services, telecommunications, health care, retail and many other industries. Using FICO solutions, businesses in more than 100 countries do everything from protecting 2.6 billion payment cards from fraud, to helping people get credit, to ensuring that millions of airplanes and rental cars are in the right place at the right time.

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FICO is a registered trademark of Fair Isaac Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

About Ovum

Ovum is a market-leading research and consulting firm focused on helping digital service providers and their vendor partners thrive in the connected digital economy. Through its 150 analysts worldwide, it offers expert analysis and strategic insight across the IT, telecoms, and media industries. Founded in 1985, Ovum has one of the most experienced analyst teams in the industry and is a respected source of guidance for technology business leaders, CIOs, vendors, service providers, and regulators looking for comprehensive, accurate, and insightful market data, research, and consulting. With 23 offices across six continents, Ovum offers a truly global perspective on technology and media markets and provides thousands of clients with insight including workflow tools, forecasts, surveys, market assessments, technology audits, and opinion.

Ovum is part of the Business Intelligence Division of Informa plc, a leading business intelligence, academic publishing, knowledge and events group listed on the London Stock Exchange.

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Erin Griffin
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1 647 725 2520 ext. 221

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