As recent events indicate, cyber attacks in Canada are becoming more and more prevalent.

Three weeks ago, for example, 2.9 million Desjardins customers had their personal data stolen. Last week, 6 million Canadians were affected by a cyberattack on Capital One bank. Clearly, this is a problem that isn't going away. 

It seems that even our power grid is at risk. According to a report from TVA NouvellesHydro-Québec experiences more than 500 cyber attacks each year. With troubling reports from all over Canada, Hydro-Québec customers need to know if their personal information is protected. 

I spoke with Louis-Olivier Batty, spokesperson for Hydro-Québec, to find out more about this stunning report and if your personal information is protected. 

According to Batty, it's important "to make a distinction between cyber attacks and malicious attempts like phishing or scam emails." There are apparently thousands of phishing or scam attempts reported every day. 

If you average it out, Hydro-Québec experiences about 41 incidents of cyber attacks every month. Every attempt is thwarted thanks to a dedicated team of experts, says Batty, yet they "must remain very vigilant at every time." 

Every one of the over 500 incidents reported by Hydro-Québec's cybersecurity team is stopped because of a reliable system, says Batty. 

"But at the same time, you have to be humble when talking about cybersecurity, because it can happen to anyone."

READ ALSO: Here's How Much Money You're Going To Save On Your Hydro Bill Thanks To The New Hydro-Québec Tariff Freeze

I asked Batty if he thinks that a customer's personal data would be at risk due to a cyber attack.

"No. We believe we have the right protection to secure our customer info. There have been no cyber intrusions into our customer data systems at Hydro-Québec."

When it comes to protecting customer data, Hydro-Québec has "all the systems, the firewalls to protect our data and the data of our customers." 

"We believe we have a good approach, a good team, we keep well-informed of all viruses and work closely with different cybersecurity organizations in Canada and the United States."  

For Hydro-Québec, cyber attacks typically target the power grid. As TVA Nouvelles reports, hackers "are looking for loopholes to destabilize computer systems and cause power outages that would be detrimental to the Quebec economy."

Quebec's crown energy corporation is also learning from the mistakes of its contemporaries. According to Batty, employee education and training are the most important things.  

A team of cybersecurity experts are working around the clock to ensure not only the power grid but also customers' data is safe and secure.

Having a team mitigates the risk of accidental (or deliberate) data breaches — which is exactly what happened with the Desjardins situation, when one rogue employee decided to ruin everyone's day. 

The good news is that Hydro-Québec is taking every measure it can to protect your personal data and information. 

If you're the victim of a data breach or cyberattack, report to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and to the Sûreté du Québec


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