Canadian Cyber Security: Incidents and Action

The consequences of cyber incidents have harmful effects on the public safety and depending on how they are targeted can also seriously compromise the national security.

Financially they can constitute the cause for losing everything and the recovery of software systems and networks and restoring them to the initial state before the cyber attacks would require immediate, huge costs and in many cases would hurt the reputation of that particular individual or organization. Losses of data of any kind, and especially sensitive, classified and intellectual property in some cases has determined companies from small to large to close their doors.

With the new wave of commerce that started almost two decades ago companies have been looking for new ways to improve their bottom line, including performing better customer service. It became obvious that a non-stop service to customers not only would improve the sales and gross revenues, it would decrease the hard costs, the overhead due to brick and mortar real estate and other costs related to having a on the “street” store or company of any industry which in turn releases funds to focus on better customer satisfaction. Since the dawn of a larger scale use of internet more companies have seen increased sales thanks to ecommerce. This represents a primary choice for startups as well.

With the increased volume of ecommerce transactions from companies of all sizes and industries, whether governmental, non-governmental, public or private organizations, should cyber incidents occur, they could deteriorate people’s confidence in the security and privacy of digital technology and once their personal data is compromised or in the intent of being compromised or at risk, they could stop using these cutting-edge technologies no matter how effective and convenient they prove. Such actions, in a higher proportion could constitute an agent of instability for the business, economy and the society in general.

With increased number of devices connected to the internet and the new development of IoT Internet of Things novel techniques will be generated and applied to protect privacy and control internet volatility. IoT is already growing at incredible rate, with the internet devices connections about 17 billion as of Jun 2018 and projected to reach 25 billion in 2020.

Currently, IoT comprises over 8 billion connected devices which do not include smart phones, laptops, landlines, tablets. Additional connections of computers, instruments, tools, equipment is expected to connect to IoT as well since they are already connected to the conventional internet. Linking theses devices to the internet poses increased risks to all connected elements and vulnerable to disrupt services through DDoS, Distributed Denial of Service. The holes in current cyber security give opportunity for attackers to gain entry to private, sensitive data and to larger systems.

A DDoS attack occurred in October 2016 flooding the servers of Dyn organization with unwanted requests which ultimately blocked for a specific interval of time famous websites and interrupted regular business. An overview of these cyber attacks are described in the following articles

Summary analysis of October 21, 2016 cyber attacks

Complex Cyber Attacks disrupts major websites

Just these examples show how frightening this picture becomes when cyber attacks target at larger scale, becoming so potent and seem capable of disrupting important infrastructure along with the connected devices.

The Canadian strategy for cyber security created an organization which receives reports from institutions victims of cyber attacks, analyses them and notifies other sectors and partners whether national and international on the trends and threats called Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC). Organizations within Canada know that only by reporting the cyber incidents their companies are exposed to them daily, even if these attacks prove successful or not. Only by cooperating with CCIRC and supporting the infrastructure invaluable reports and overviews result, thus other companies can rely and learn upon enhancing the internet security.

While the internet and its connections are evolving, the security will change and so will the cyber attacks. With the quantum internet at horizons, we will encounter particular and significant cyber security challenges which we are confident to address by commencing to make a significant contribution now.

 

Cory Popescu

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