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Canada's Cyber Strategy Vague, Too

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By Allan Holmes October 4, 2010

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Canada released its Cybersecurity Strategy plan this month, calling the protection of government and corporate computer systems "a daunting challenge."

There is no simple way to detect, identify and recover from attackers who cannot be seen or heard, who leave no physical evidence behind them, and who hide their tracks through a complex web of compromised computers.

The $90 million (Canadian) strategy lays out three broad areas to build on:

1. Secure government systems. The government will put in place the necessary structures, tools and personnel to meet its obligations for cyber security.

2. Create partnerships to secure nongovernmental systems. In cooperation with provincial and territorial governments and the private sector, the government will support initiatives and take steps to strengthen Canada's cyber resiliency, including that of its critical infrastructure sectors.

3. Help Canadians be secure online. The Government will assist Canadians in getting the information they need to protect themselves and their families online, and strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to combat cybercrime.

If this sounds familiar, it is. As the authors of the strategy, Canada's Public Safety Ministry, say,

Three of our closest security and intelligence partners, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, recently released their own plans to secure cyberspace. Many of the guiding principles and operational priorities set out in those reports resemble our own. This complementarity reflects our shared experiences in dealing with cyber security, and demonstrates our determination to enhance our collective security by leveraging each ally's domestic cyber regimes.

It also shares the lack of details on how it will defend networks past what we already know, just as the White House's Cyberspace Policy Review released in 2009 did -- including, by the way, lack of a defined and detailed strategy.

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