Cyber-safe Critical Infrastructure

Mar 15, 2014

A Key Strategic Goal

This edition of Frontline Security is dedicated primarily to the international impact of cyber attacks upon the reliability and security of all critical infrastructure ­systems. You will be reminded that tremendous risks are being taken in this field, and that we face great complexity in effectively mitigating these, be they in public, private or joint sectors. In my own examination of present government policy and public-private coordination, I have found the measures wanting, and the pace of adjustments glacial, as the threats evolve at jet speed. 

Respected authorities on security, David McMahonBonnie ButlinNathaniel Bowler, and Mike Chernichen offer perspective and advice on numerous cyber security issues for government and business planning authorities.

On 21 May, Russia and China signed a 30-year gas deal worth $400 billion. Note the telling statement in this “business” deal (which I predict will trigger major geopolitical adjustments): “The parties stress the necessity of respecting nations’ historic ­heritage, their cultural traditions and their independent choice of sociopolitical system, value system and development path, of counteracting interference in other countries’ domestic affairs, of rejecting the language of unilateral sanctions, or organizing, aiding, financing or encouraging activity aimed at changing the constitutional system of another country or drawing it into any multilateral bloc or union.” A week later, in the UN General Assembly vote on calling the Russian annexation of Crimea “illegal”, Brazil, India, China, South Africa abstained, but so also did Pakistan, most Arab countries, Argentina, Israel (by its absence) and another 16 major groups opposed to US/EU action against Russia. And so, behind this shift in the poker game, the new cyber card is being played globally by states, businesses and criminal organizations. 

In contrast, Ken Pole, in one of his two articles, covers the cooperation between the European Union and Canada in Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) to preserve the long-standing trans-Atlantic accord. 

Ken’s second article, on the purchase of 15 light-lift twin-engine helicopters for the Coast Guard, raises questions – yet again – about the federal government’s procurement processes and hence the seriousness of our trans-Atlantic strategy. 

We congratulate Jacques Brunelle on the progress and successes of Ottawa’s volunteer Airport Watch system, which has blossomed into an international group.

Richard Bray’s update on Simulator Training offers insight into the innovations that are coming down the pipe for live fire training for police and military.

Avi Jorisch identifies another evolving threat – the changes in Brunei – that should serve to alert policymakers to the building threat of radical Islam. 

In his “ONE LAST THING”, Scott Newark makes a pertinent call for the urgent need to modernize our laws to deal with new cyber technologies while ensuring that the private, business and public interests are balanced. 

This is a full read on tough and dynamic topics. Comments welcome. 

Clive Addy, Executive Editor