Many Canadian municipalities are struggling to meet even basic cybersecurity requirements in the face of increasing cyber attacks. Ransomware attacks in particular have been wreaking havoc resulting in significant financial losses and hampering municipal services. To address this issue, TECHNATION, has formed a private-public sector Advisory Council to lead a new Municipal Cybersecurity Best Practices Initiative.
Municipal leaders understand that the protection of their information systems and data is paramount, as they are trusted to safeguard citizen data, protect critical infrastructure and sustain municipal services including emergency services. However, they are facing significant challenges such as competing priorities for limited resources, lack of expertise, legacy systems, and limited cybersecurity capabilities, all while trying to address increasingly sophisticated and dynamic cyber threats. They are often left having to make tough decisions around what to do and where to allocate resources for cybersecurity.
“In discussion with tech industry leaders through our Advisory Council, we quickly discovered that while there are a variety of resources and guidelines available, many are overly technical and few address the unique context faced by municipalities.” explained Angela Mondou, president and CEO, TECHNATION. “Considering the significant threats and potential financial damage facing municipalities nation wide, our council felt it critical to engage, educate and enable municipal leaders across the country. Our goal in launching this initiative, is to ensure that every municipality across Canada has a pragmatic set of cybersecurity best practices that they can apply regardless of their size.”
The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, added, “In order to protect ourselves from threats, and increase economic prosperity, we need to work with the very best in the field, across all sectors. This exciting collaboration will help keep Canadian municipalities safe and maintain Canada’s position as a world leader in cyber security.“
This initiative will receive $241,810.50, over two years, through Public Safety Canada’s Cyber Security Cooperation Program. With the primary aim of providing municipal leaders with a collaboratively developed set of cybersecurity best practices, this initiative is also designed to enhance municipal leader knowledge of how to prevent and prepare for cybersecurity incidents and to foster sharing of cybersecurity resources across municipalities.