National Cyber Security Strategy plans unveiled

Feb 27, 2018

In an attempt to increase national and personal protection from the global surge in cybercrime, the federal government has unveiled its National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) plan, which is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars over the next several years.

“To safeguard Canadians’ privacy, and protect both our digital economy and our country, we are making an investment of over $750 million,” was the only reference by Finance Minister Bill Morneau in today's budget speech to Parliament as he left the details to the main Budget Plan background document.

Working with provincial and territorial governments, the private sector, and “trusted international partners”, the NCSS will ensure “secure and resilient” systems by enhancing the government’s capacity to investigate cybercrimes, develop threat assessments, and safeguard infrastructure in such sectors as finance and energy.

Proposed funding for the NCSS is for an initial $236.5 million over five years, and $41.2 million annually ongoing. It would include what the government describes as “an innovative and adaptive cyber ecosystem” that will support work-integrated learning placements for students and establish a voluntary certification program for businesses.

The government outlined plans for legislation that would permit the consolidation “under one roof” of government-wide operational expertise. For this effort, the Communications Security Establishment will receive $155.2 million over five years, and $44.5 million per year ongoing, to create a new Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS).

However, federal responsibility for investigating potential criminal activities would remain with the RCMP. which will get $116 million over five years and $23.2 million annually ongoing to support creation of a National Cybercrime Coordination Unit.

The new unit will work not only with other domestic institutions but also international partners, as well as giving citizens and businesses a national mechanism for reporting suspected cybercrime.

“Taken together, these investments will allow Canadians to continue to benefit from digital connections in a way that protects them, their personal information and our infrastructure from cybercrime,” the government said.

Ken Pole