#CyberFLASH: Ex-CSIS official backs Canada’s attempt to get cyber promise from China

feature-china-hack-keyboard-thinkstock-620x250For several years Western governments have blamed official Chinese or Chinese-government backed groups for hacking into databases of public and private organizations. But a year ago the U.S. president Barack Obama and Chinese president president Xi Jinping signed an agreement not to direct or support cyberattacks that steal corporate data for economic benefit.

Now Canada wants to do the same.

A spokesman for Public Safety minister Ralph Goodale told the Globe and Mail that this country will try to get a similar agreement, which has also been negotiated between China and the United Kingdom.

The idea has the support of Ray Boisvert, a former assistant director for intelligence at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) who now has his own security consulting company.

“I do support this type of approach,” he said in an email to ITWorldCanada.com. “As we collectively mature in this new networked, cyber-enabled world, be it governments, the private sector or citizens, we will have to apply all types of risk reduction strategies. And of course diplomacy should always be a first among strategic plays. It is no guarantee of success, especially without verification, but two previous agreements involving the U.S. and U.K. (and China) have recorded measurable reductions in cyber thefts of intellectual property and by extension breaches of individual privacy.

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#CyberFLASH: 64% of Canadian CEOs surveyed expressed concern about data security

images-115Cyber security is “strategically important” to three of four Canadian chief executive officers surveyed, while nearly two-thirds identified cyber threats as a concern, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) LLP suggested in a recent report.

PwC released results from the 18th Annual Global CEO Survey, launched at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

In a report on the Canadian results – titled Working Within Blurred Boundaries – PwC included figures of “technologies considered strategically important to Canadian CEOs.”

Seventy five per cent of Canadian CEO respondents said cyber security was “strategically important,” 84% identified “mobile technologies for customer engagement” and 59% identified the “Internet of things.”

PwC said it interviewed 1,322 CEOs from 77 countries, including 44 from Canada, during the fourth quarter of 2014.

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#CyberFLASH: Cyber crime puts Canadian execs on high alert in 2015

3e8bbf09abde7c2cb8cd80f03584f864Intended or not, the full impact of the recent cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment has now gone well beyond the walls of a single, lavish boardroom in sunny California.

The headline-grabbing hack certainly sent Sony’s reputation into a spiral after a series of embarrassing emails between company executives and its A-list clients were made public.

Three months later, the company continues to struggle to cap the fallout, while nervous corporate leaders around the world watch the situation carefully and worry about who will be next.

Canadian companies are no exception. A new report by KPMG tracking audit trends in 2015 suggests companies on this side of the border are taking cyber security and reputation risk management more seriously than ever before.

Security “is a very real threat to really any organization of any size these days,” saysPaul Hanley, an advisory partner and KPMG cyber security leader in Toronto, in an interview with Yahoo Canada Finance.

“All organizations have data. It could be your trade secrets, client names, client lists – there is a whole world of sensitive data out there and there is going to be somebody, somewhere that is going to want to get hold of it,” Hanley says.

Among the coming changes, companies (those that haven’t done so already) are expected to begin beefing up corporate networks and systems to limit exposure of sensitive corporate information and prevent it from falling into the hands of cyber criminals, and even corporate competitors.

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