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Networking cables and circuit boards are shown in Toronto on Nov. 8, 2017.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

A new study suggests nearly 90 per cent of Canadian organizations suffered at least one security breach last year and sensitive data was exposed almost half of the time.

The survey found that one in five breaches was classified as "high impact" because sensitive customer or employee information was exposed.

The report was done by IDC Canada for Scalar Decisions Inc., a Toronto-based IT services company that has issued similar reports since 2015.

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It was based on a survey of 420 people with on-the-job responsibility for cybersecurity in their organizations.

The 2018 report estimates that almost 87 per cent per cent of Canadian companies suffered at least one successful breach and 41 per cent had sensitive data stolen last year.

It also estimates that a breach costs $3.7-million, on average, in terms of network down time, employee work days, lost files and compromised information.

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