Cybersecurity in Canada: The top laws and regulations every business owner needs to know

Cybersecurity in Canada: The top laws and regulations every business owner needs to know

Canada has some of the most stringent cybersecurity regulations in the world. So, as the owner of a Canada-based business, you should know the different cybersecurity laws your organization must follow. It’s also essential to understand how these laws can affect your company.

Here are some of the most common cybersecurity regulations in Canada that you should be aware of.

Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA)

PIPEDA is a federal privacy law that mandates businesses to protect the personal information of their customers, employees, and other individuals they work with by creating a privacy policy. It applies to organizations handling any personal information as part of their commercial undertakings and outlines rules for collecting, using, and disclosing personal information in both paper and electronic formats. It also requires covered entities to protect that information through reasonable security measures.

On top of these, PIPEDA provides guidelines for notifying authorities and affected individuals in the event of a breach.

Read also: Canada’s PIPEDA: Does it affect me?

Digital Privacy Act (DPA)

DPA regulates how organizations can collect, use, disclose, and store personal information from electronic sources. It also requires businesses to have consent agreements with third parties they share data with. Moreover, it gives individuals the right to access their own records to verify accuracy or request corrections if needed.

DPA amends PIPEDA and includes new requirements for notifying all involved parties in case of a breach. The law also includes new exceptions to the requirements of obtaining consent to gather and manage personal information in particular circumstances.

Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

PIPA is a series of provincial laws that regulate how organizations in particular provinces collect, use, and disclose personal information. British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec have their own PIPA laws, which are similar in many ways to PIPEDA.

Canadian anti-spam legislation (CASL)

CASL is a federal law designed to regulate the sending of unwanted commercial electronic messages (CEMs), such as those sent via email, text, and social media, and the installation of unwanted computer programs on someone’s device.

The law therefore requires businesses to obtain consent from individuals before sending CEMs, as well as outlines other requirements for CEMs that will be sent, including information about the sender and an easy opt-out process. It also decrees organizations to keep accurate records of all transactions related to CEMs sent out on their behalf.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)

PCI DSS sets forth regulations for businesses that accept payment cards online or by phone as well as physical retail locations that accept credit card payments. PCI DSS outlines measures for protecting cardholder data, such as encryption standards, authentication techniques, and access controls for users who process transactions using payment cards.

Security breach notification laws

Several Canadian provinces have security breach notification laws that require organizations to notify affected individuals and relevant government authorities in the event of a data breach. These laws vary by province, but they generally require notification within a specified time frame and may include requirements for the content of the notification.

For instance, Quebec’s Privacy Act (Bill 64) requires organizations to report to the Quebec Commission on Access to Information and notify individuals with compromised data of any incidents that present a risk of ‘serious injury’.

Every business that operates within Canada's borders must understand these major cybersecurity laws so they can stay compliant, implement sound policies and procedures, and safeguard their data in an increasingly digital world.

At XBASE Technologies, we understand the importance of complying with Canada's cybersecurity laws and regulations. We are committed to providing the most reliable security solutions so your business can stay protected against any cyberthreat. Drop us a line today and discover how our EXponentially Better™ services can help you ensure maximum compliance and security.