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Canada advances cybersecurity strategy to fend off nation-state attacks

Cybercrime is the biggest threat at this very moment, not just for businesses and consumers, but also for government networks. A number of countries are looking to enforcing stronger cybersecurity mechanisms while some have even looked at forcing tech companies to allow access to customer data.

Canada is one of the countries that take cybersecurity seriously, as recently confirmed in Ottawa at the SecTor security conference by Scott Jones, Head of the newly-established Canadian Centre for Cyber Security at the Canadian Security Establishment (CSE).

As per his keynote, Canadians will not sit around waiting for an attack to cripple their entire infrastructure or worse. They are actively looking for approaches for both consumers and businesses to reduce cyber risks and fend off any type of cyberattack, including state-sponsored threats, before they occur. Jones confirmed a number of attacks from different locations have already attempted to breach government networks.

“Every day, the CSE blocks hundreds of millions of malicious activities directed at the government of Canada, including up to one billion reconnaissance scans for vulnerabilities and over 25 million attempts to install malware on government networks,” Jones said. “We decided to break the cycle and make it harder for people to discover our vulnerabilities.”

The agency wants to increase hackers’ cost of attacks by reducing visibility over what programs run on the infrastructure which will make scanning government networks more difficult and time consuming.

“By doing the basics, you’re making the adversaries that come after you deploy more advanced tools and techniques, and you just might not be worth the expense,” Jones said. “My ultimate goal is to make Canada unattractive to cyber-criminals and data hackers, because our community is vigilant and engaged so much so that threat actors aren’t enticed to even attack us.”

About the author


From a young age, Luana knew she wanted to become a writer. After having addressed topics such as NFC, startups, and tech innovation, she has now shifted focus to internet security, with a keen interest in smart homes and IoT threats. Luana is a supporter of women in tech and has a passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.

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  • “We decided to break the cycle and make it harder for people to discover our vulnerabilities.”

    — This makes it sound like Jones doesn't want to remove the vulnerabilities, but just wants to hide them better. While this is a quote at a conference (hence unscripted), I truly wonder what they are planning to do. I hope they plan to remove vulnerabilities as well as reduce their attack surface.