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Latest news about the Canadian cyber security industry

Cybersecurity talent gap ‘mission critical’ for innovation sector, as feds move on national strategy

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale and RCMP superintendent Jeff Adams withParliamentary Secretary for Innovation David Lametti, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and head of the new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security Scott Jones announced a new cybersecurity strategy.  The federal government is betting on its half-a-billion-dollar national cybersecurity strategy to help make Canada a global hub for the growing cyber protection industry, but advocates warn that goal will be impossible to achieve without addressing Canada’s shortage of skilled cyber talent. “It’s mission critical,” Katherine Thompson, chair of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance’s (CATA) cyber council, told The Hill Times.




Canadian Government wants access to Domestic Technology

Canadian cybersecurity companies are paying keen attention to an ongoing review of Ottawa’s procurement process, anxious to see whether the review will help hasten the protracted system and make military contracts more accessible for small domestic cyberbusinesses. “When they do get [cutting-edge technology], by the time they go through the procurement process internally, that cutting-edge technology is no longer cutting edge,” she said. “There’s an appetite right now within the Canadian government to get their hands on especially Canadian born-and-bred cybersecurity technology,” said Katherine Thompson, chair of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance’s Cyber Council.




Ottawa releases Data Breach Notification Regulations

Ottawa has released the final version of its data breach notification regulations, which confirms that companies covered by federal privacy law will have to keep records of breaches for 24 months. The regulations specify the minimum requirements for providing a data breach report to the Privacy Commissioner; specify the minimum requirements for notifying affected individuals of a data breach; and confirm the scope and retention period for data breach recordkeeping. The new regulations will make companies more accountable and empower Canadian consumers.”



CATA sees Need for Cyber Security Innovation

With cyber security increasingly becoming a priority for enterprises a tech industry lobby group (CATA) is organizing a set of cross-Canada meetings to create the building blocks for a bigger security sector here. CATA’s focus on cyber security perhaps will be reflected in Ottawa’s upcoming new cyber security strategy. ”CATA sees the need for cyber security innovation to be part of any supercluster being stood up because there are concerns around security of IoT (the Internet of Things) and artificial intelligence and other areas where Canada is starting to get a lot of attention for innovation,” said Thompson, who is director of strategic markets at MNP consulting.



Cryptocurrency and cybersecurity: The implications

Cryptocurrency provides a depth of security that traditional currency cannot. However, the anonymity and encryption that makes cryptocurrency so appealing can be used against the user and to the benefit of a new age robber. While the security of cryptocurrencies has been heavily promoted, the real security threats lay in the broader ecosystem which can be compromised by cybercriminals. Accordingly, organizations owning or engaging in the trade of cryptocurrencies should have a clear understanding of the ecosystem and understand their vulnerabilities so that they can implement appropriate risk mitigation strategies.



EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into Force

“All sorts of firms including large Canadian companies with EU business and smaller companies including those that do business directly it through distributors In the European Union,” have been calling the McCarthy Tetrault law firm for advice or help recently, said senior partner and privacy law expert Barry Sookman. Instead, their European partners realized late that companies in their supply chain are affected. With two days left to go before the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into force some Canadian organizations are still scrambling to be ready.



Equifax's Canadian customer's information was Breached

In the U.S. 143 million Americans had sensitive personal information exposed after Equifax, a credit agency, was hacked. In Canada, 100,000 people had their information breached. Kathie Thompson says Canadians have embraced digital economy — "we're certainly avid users of it but with the rewards of that digital economy come significant risks."



CATA announces partnership with Canadian Military Community

The public and private sector collaborative effort will be announcing a pilot project at CATA’s Innovation Gala on May 17 aimed at helping veterans use their military skills and training in apprenticeship job placements with “leading Canadian public and private sector employers.” The project, dubbed the CATA Cyber Council, will have a mandate of “driving progress” by focusing on three key areas of concern and opportunity in Canada: the skilled labor shortage; growth and economic prosperity for Canada through the advancement of cyber security; and advocacy and public awareness. It’s no secret Canada has a severe technology industry skills shortage, but a new partnership between the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) is hoping to change that. The dedication, integrity and commitment of the Canadian military community to this project has been overwhelming.”



Data Breaches happen in Canada Too

When asked about data breaches clients say “that happens in the U.S., not to us,” Katherine Thompson, a senior advisor in consulting firm MNP LLP’s cyber security practice who is also chair of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) cyber council. Small and medium sized businesses in Canada still have blinkers on when it comes to being fully prepared for cyber breaches, says security experts. She noted Public Safety Canada’s public consultation on a national security framework has been extended twice because the government wasn’t getting the response from certain sectors, specifically small and medium business.



Cybersecurity Book provides a Best Practice Guide

Cybersecurity in Canada, a 140-page book by lawyer Imran Ahmad of the Miller Thomson law firm, was published earlier this month aimed at IT procurement managers, risk managers and lawyers. “If you look for any kind of reference book in Canada for law firms or in-house counsel or risk managers there’s no good Canadian resource,” says Ahmad, who in addition to leading his firm’s cybersecurity law practice also sites on the cyber council of the Canadian Advances Technologies Alliance. Cybersecurity in Canada, A guide to best practices, planning and management, is published by LexisNexis Canada and costs $90.