Canada to Spend $1 Billion of Federal Budget on Fighting Cyber Crime

Cyber attacks grabbed the headlines last year when hackers launched an attack to compromise the data of computers in over 100 countries. Lurk and Wannacry created by FSS became a big thing in the cyberspace stealing data department. Canada was one of the many countries that remained a target for cyber operations. Not folding their arms to witness another attack, the country has been reported to have prepared a $1 billion budget to fund the fight against future cyber-attacks. The details of the federal budget will be released in the coming week, but an inside report has stated that one of the key areas citizens should expect a great transformation is in the area of cybersecurity.

It has been revealed that a bulk of the funds will be a supplement to the National Cyber Security Strategy. Part of the funding will be used to train the youth to undertake a high level of training in cybersecurity. This will ensure that the coming generation has a strong foundation in cyberspace to help the country. The funding will also seek to strengthen the military cyber-defense systems to ensure complete control over the security system. Many countries have increased their budget allocated for cybersecurity following that actions of hackers in 2017.

Accenture’s Cybercrime survey conducted in 2017 revealed that most of the Canadians have little or no knowledge of cybercrime and cybersecurity. This called for the need for the government to allocate $1 billion on this course. The survey also revealed that majority of the respondents wanted the government to inform them about cybercrime and how to avoid being attacked.

“The majority (78 percent) of survey respondents want government and public safety agencies to do more to inform them about how to prevent cybercrime and to stay safe online, with one-fifth (20 percent) of respondents specifically citing the need for increased education of citizens about their personal and data security when online,” according to the survey. This explains why the country was easily affected by attacks and why the government decided to train future generations to be cyber secure.

Experts have identified the breakdown of the $1 billion budget. According to them, the government has planned to finance cyber initiatives by the private organizations and if possible, partner them to come out with all the needed tools to combat cybercrime. Hackers launch an attack with full preparation using sophisticated tools bought on Darknet marketplaces. With respect to this, Canada has recognized and agreed to match them equally with all arsenals available and all possible outcomes. The country’s cyber-weapon “project Arachnid” crawled the internet for illegal materials such as child pornography showing how far they can go when they really invest in cyber activities.

Also, there are hints that the budget will not touch on the revised plan that will outline the strategy to ensure a greater balance between the corporation and the privacy of the public. It has also been reported that the country will likely secure a fund to take care of all protections surrounding the 2019 elections as the country remains a sitting duck for a cyber attack. Cybercriminals are known to be unpredictable and they attack when no one expects them to do so. Cybercriminals have been targeting government institutions such as hospitals, as seen in 2017.

On the other side of the coin, the country’s $1 billion budget on cybersecurity does not provide the guarantee that the cybercrime issue will be dealt with directly. As was the case in 2012, Canada spent almost $980 million for almost a decade to fight cybercrime but according to the then Auditor-General Michael Ferguson, the country still fell behind in terms of the level of effective cybersecurity. The auditor attributed the reasons to a lack of details on the exact amount and its expected outcome, as well as, a lack of a plan.

The auditor explained why the previous attempt to combat cyber attacks failed: “The government’s approach to implementing its Cyber Security Strategy was to use sector networks with critical infrastructure owners and operators to build the partnerships needed to secure systems,” he said. “However, since sector networks are only now starting to develop and are incomplete in coverage, one of the principal mechanisms for implementing the Cyber Security Strategy has been missing,” he concluded.

The government is being expected not to make the mistake that led to the failure of the previous attempt but to ensure that the whole target of cybersecurity is achieved.