#CyberFLASH: New Brunswick launches strategy to become a world leader in cybersecurity

cpt107339096-high-jpgFREDERICTON – Premier Brian Gallant says New Brunswick is the first province in the country to develop a comprehensive strategy on cybersecurity and cyber innovation.

Gallant made the announcement at the University of New Brunswick where he launched CyberNB — a strategy to create jobs and revenues in the various fields of cyber technology.

Cybersecurity expert Allen Dillon has been hired to head CyberNB.

He says the pace of technology has outpaced security experts, and New Brunswick is well placed to be a world leader in the efforts to combat cybercrime.

Dillon says there will be approximately 192,000 information and communications technology jobs in Canada by 2020 and 67,000 of them will be in cybersecurity.

He says the strategy will ensure the proper education and innovation programs are in place to ensure a large portion of those jobs are located in New Brunswick.

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#CyberFLASH: Will technology help revive Canada’s health care?

phillips-IoT-connected-hospital-620x250Health care is an area where the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide innovative solutions for everlasting problems. I recently attended Technicity 2015 where the role of IoT was highlighted as solving old problems and transforming cities into smart ones.

Deloitte published a report which discussed the Canadian health care challenges that are partially a result of applying old approaches in ever-changing new context. The report featured several possible disruptive approaches in technology such as rapid development in information technology. In particular, the report examined how workflow tools and big data analytics will be driving the change in the health care service model.

Similarly to Deloitte’s report, a study prepared by the Conference Board of Canada stated that Canada is lagging behind when it comes to using technology in the health care sector, with a common example being the use of slips of paper and fax machines.

The Canadian health care system is facing significant challenges that are continually evolving over time. The existing system struggles to meet the changing demands with issues such as an aging population, chronic diseases, high costs, workforce shortages, infrastructure limitations, patient locations, and disruptive technologies. These factors are expected to continue in the future as Canadians call for measures to shorten wait-times, improve patient management, protect privacy and modernize the delivery of health services.

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#CyberFLASH: CRA data breach should be the final straw

image-12If heads don’t roll after the latest security debacle at the Canada Revenue Agency, they should.

The tax agency revealed yesterday that a spreadsheet containing detailed information on a number of high-profile Canadians, including former PM Jean Chretien, author Margaret Atwood, ex drug czar Richard Pound and media mogul Moses Znaimer, had been sent to the CBC. The 18-page file included names, home addresses, and details of donations made to Canadian museums and galleries.

In a statement released late yesterday, CRA Commissioner Andrew Treusch attributed the accidental release of the personal information to human error, and said it “constitutes a serious breach of privacy.”

The CBC said it received the file electronically in response to an Access to Information Request. In a move that surprises no one, Treusch said the agency “has launched an internal investigation into the privacy breach and its security protocols.”

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#CyberFLASH: NRC head says cyberattack hasn’t spooked partners

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The head of the National Research Council said that an alleged hack of the agency’s servers by a Chinese “state-sponsored actor” is “unfortunate,” but reflects “the reality of the times.”

In his first public comments on the July cyberattack that shut down the agency’s servers, NRC President John McDougall said the agency’s private sector partners are largely satisfied with the steps taken to address the matter.

“We’ve been very open with our customers in terms of the fact that it happened,” McDougall told reporters in Whitehorse Thursday. “With very, very few exceptions they have been quite pleased with the responses that we’ve been taking to try and make sure we’re safeguarding their information.”

The agency has been tight-lipped about what the hackers were after, or how much information they were able to access, if any. Since the attack was confirmed by the government on July 29, an NRC spokesman has repeatedly refused interviews on the issue, citing security concerns.

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#CyberFLASH: Study estimates 36% of Canadian businesses know they’ve been hit by cyber attack

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TORONTO — More than one-third of Canada’s IT professionals know — for sure — that they’d had a significant data breach over the previous 12 months that could put their clients or their organizations at risk, a cybersecurity study suggests.

And as startling as that statistic may be, the actual number of breaches could be higher since the same international study found 56 per cent of the 236 Canadian respondents said they believed threats sometimes fall through the cracks.

“Even the best-protected networks have regular security incidents,” says Jeff Debrosse, director of security research for Websense, a U.S.-based security company that commissioned the study.

“It’s a 24-7 onslaught. It’s a barrage of attacks and attempts to penetrate the defences.”

Debrosse says it’s a real challenge for organizations to understand their vulnerabilities, let alone prevent breaches. Technology is improving, he adds, but it’s more important to share information about attacks within and among organizations.

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#CyberFLASH: LEGER: Pull back veil on national security

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The mere mention of the term “royal commission” is enough to trigger eye-rolling cynicism in many Canadians, even the public-spirited. It conjures an image of paper gathering dust in archives across the country.

Maybe it’s the word “royal” in the phrase that connotes irrelevance or a certain lack of rigour. Perhaps it’s because commissions take so long to do their work and produce so few concrete results. Royal commissions have an image problem.

They are usually set up because some public problem has flummoxed the sitting government. Not know what else to do, governments often use them to park unsettling issues out of the glare of day-to-day politics.

When commissions do report, prime ministers have the option of ignoring inconvenient conclusions. In fact, many such panels are established precisely so they can be ignored by the government of the day.

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#CyberFLASH: Heartbleed internet bug may not affect wi-fi

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The Heartbleed Internet bug is still haunting websites worldwide, but it looks like public Wi-Fi is pretty safe.

That doesn’t mean you should start banking on an open network — that’s still dangerous.

However, you can connect your laptop or smartphone at most coffee shops, hotels and airports without worrying about hackers exploiting the Heartbleed bug on a Wi-Fi router to spy on you.

Most of the Wi-Fi devices used in public spaces are made by Cisco or Ruckus Wireles, and both companies say that hardware wasn’t susceptible to the bug in security software.

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#CyberFLASH: RCMP charge 19-year-old man in Heartbleed privacy breach

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A 19-year-old man from London, Ont., has been charged in connection with using the Heartbleed bug to exploit taxpayer data from the Canada Revenue Agency website.

The RCMP announced Wednesday that Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes was arrested at his home Tuesday without incident. He has since been released and is staying with his parents in London’s north end.

Solis-Reyes faces charges related to one count of unauthorized use of a computer and one count of mischief in relation to data.

He’s the son of a computer science professor at Western University, CTV News has confirmed.

The CRA shut down public access to its online services on April 8 after learning its systems were vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug. Then on Monday, the agency announced that the Social Insurance Numbers of about 900 taxpayers were taken from the CRA systems over a six-hour period by someone who had exploited the Heartbleed bug

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