Canadian Government and Corporations are operating with false sense of security
Despite the realization of the possibility of more cyber threats coming, it seems that governments are still in denial about the magnitude a cyber attack could have on their country’s safety and economy.
Back in 2010, CBC News published an article that I was interviewed for about a Canadian spy agency memo that was accidentally released, stating that government, university, and industry computer cyber attacks were growing “substantially.” A report done by the University of Toronto Citizen Lab, the Ottawa-based SecDev Group, and American researchers from the Shadowserver Foundation urged that governments must take immediate action in their digital security. This should include a comprehensive strategy to prevent attacks from hackers that use social media to steal confidential information.
At that point back in 2010, the U.S. government announced a $40-billion dollar cyber security plan to combat attacks from both domestic and foreign hackers. Prevention of cyber terrorism was a “top defence-spending priority.”
About three years later, cyber threats, terrorism, and espionage have recently been announced as the United States’ top security threat. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, says that “the world is applying digital technologies faster than our ability to understand the security implications and mitigate potential risks.” Hackers are able to get ahead of the governments because they are applying technology faster than many can understand it.
Even though cyber attack prevention is the U.S.’s top priority in security, recent budget cuts have been called that could cause up to five thousand intelligence contractors to be terminated, which would deter cyber security efforts.
Meanwhile, here in Canada, a recent study by Telus and the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto has shown that IT security has found a “pervasive sense of vulnerability” in many corporations, and it seems as if they are set up to be hacked. Walid Hejazi, a professor of business economics at Rotman, believes that “Canadian companies are operating with a false sense of security.”
It’s time legislation gets put in place to mandate corporations and government to get testing 1 to 4 times a year to stay vigilant.
What would you suggest ?
I’m a government cleared cybersecurity expert (a Certified Ethical Hacker), and the Vice-President of Cyber at SIRCO, an investigations and protections firm in Montréal, Canada.
I’m also a frequent contributor to National & Global media reportage about cyber-crime, spying, security failures, internet scams, and the real social network dangers that families and individuals face every day.