Cybersecurity in Canada: a Rising Threat

The Senate of Canada has published a report on cybersecurity in Canada, “Cyber Assault – It Should Keep You Up At Night”, that details what the Canadian government is doing about cybersecurity and tells us how many Canadian citizens and businesses and government departments have been attacked by hackers.

Some of the recommendations they make are:

  • Having all government departments prioritize cybersecurity training and education:
    • training programs in cybersecurity
    • promoting basic research in cybersecurity and encouraging Canadians to attend cybersecurity programs in universities
    • educating consumers and businesses on cybersecurity through a national cybersecurity literacy program
  • Developing standards for cybersecurity for IoT (Internet of Things)
  • Creating a new federal minister of cyber security

The other recommendations are just as exciting and it looks like Canada will have more cyber security education and training programs springing up. Along with the focus on AI/Machine Learning, Canada may be the next country that takes cyber security seriously.

This may already be happening as TD Bank and other Canadian banks hav already hired an ethical hacking team that round-the-clock tries to hack their own systems so that they can spot weaknesses before actual cyber attackers do:

In 2017, 21 per cent of Canadian businesses reported that they were impacted by a cybersecurity incident that affected their operations, according to Statistics Canada.

Banking institutions, not including investment banks, reported the highest level of incidents at 47 per cent, followed by universities and the pipeline transportation subsector, according to the agency.

Demand for talent in Canada is climbing by seven per cent annually and there will be more than 5,000 roles to fill between 2018 and 2021, according to Deloitte.

By 2022, the cybersecurity workforce gap is expected to reach 1.8 million, it said.

As of October, there were 1,024 cybersecurity vacancies for every million Canadian job postings, up five per cent over the past year, according to Indeed Canada. That’s up 73 per cent since the beginning of 2015, said Brendon Bernard, an economist for the job search platform.

The most basic cyber security step you can take is using a VPN (Virtual Private Network).

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