Auditor warns Canada lagging on cyber security

Oct 23, 2012
The clock of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa. Canada "has been slow" to set up firewalls to protect against cyber threats to critical infrastructure, leaving the nation vulnerable to crippling attacks, the auditor general warned Tuesday.

Canada "has been slow" to set up firewalls to protect against cyber threats to critical infrastructure, leaving the nation vulnerable to crippling attacks, the auditor general warned Tuesday.

In a report, Auditor General Michael Ferguson said the government has made only "limited progress" over the past decade to safeguard electrical grids, , banking systems, manufacturing and transportation, as well as its own computers.

A key agency set up seven years ago to monitor 24/7, called the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, is still not fully functioning, leaving evening and weekend gaps in its security coverage, he said.

Also, incidents were not reported in a timely manner nor shared with the appropriate agencies, he said.

Opposition parties pounced on the report to accuse the government of being "recklessly ill-prepared" to protect Canadians who are increasingly reliant on the Internet, against cyber attacks.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews conceded some shortcomings revealed by the audit, but insisted the Tory government is committed to ensuring "Canada's is well-insulated from cyber threats."

"It wasn't until 2010 that people became (fully) aware of the nature of cyber threats," he said. Ottawa announced stepped up security efforts that year but in January 2011, a was still able to paralyze its computers, leading to a revamp of the network now being undertaken.

The report notes the frequency and severity of through the Internet are accelerating, which Toews confirmed at a press conference.

Attacks by ordinary hackers, organized criminal groups and state-sponsored entities are "constant," Toews said.

Explore further: Erdogan passes law tightening Turkey's grip on Internet

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UK govt to announce new cyber security strategy

Nov 25, 2011

The government is set to announce new measures to tackle cyber crime on Friday as Britain's internet and electronic communications network comes under increased attack from hackers and foreign intelligence ...

NATO tackles cyber security at Tallinn meet

Jun 07, 2011

Three hundred global cyber experts gathered in Tallinn Tuesday for a NATO Cyber Conflict conference focused on the legal and political aspects of national and global Internet security amid a rise in attacks.

Recommended for you

US threatened Yahoo with huge fine over surveillance

Sep 11, 2014

US authorities threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day if it failed to comply with a secret surveillance program requiring it to hand over user data in the name of national security, court documents showed ...

User comments : 0