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Canada’s critical infrastructure sectors are encouraged to monitor increased cyberthreat activity.Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

A cybersecurity expert says Canadian businesses are at risk of being targeted for online attacks if Russia chooses to retaliate against government sanctions.

Karim Hijazi, founder and CEO of Texas-based cyberintelligence firm Prevailion, said that Canadian companies could be victims of bad actors trying to compromise critical infrastructure and government entities.

He said this could be the likely approach because government, critical infrastructure and the private sector are so intertwined and subject to easy access.

Mr. Hijazi also said that the damaging malware Russia would activate is already present in many Canadian computer networks.

A spokesperson from the national Communications Security Establishment (CSE) said in an e-mail that the federal government agency is watching for cyberthreats directed at financial, energy and telecommunications sectors.

The CSE encourages all of Canada’s critical infrastructure sectors to monitor increased cyberthreat activity.

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