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Cyber Security: A fourth pillar of Open Government

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October is Cyber Security Awareness Month.

Canada’s Auditor-General is expected to release a report on Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy. The report is expected to be an important assessment of Canada’s preparedness for further cybersecurity attacks.

In the meantime, and perhaps pre-emptively, the Government of Canada announcedon October 17, 2012, an investment of CAD$155 million over five years to improve the detection of, and response to, continually evolving cyber threats to government systems and services.

A portion of the funding will be invested in the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC). The purpose of the funding for CCIRC will be to:

  • Improve incident response across Canada, and enhance the ability of government and its partners to maintain awareness of the cyber environment; and
  • Strengthen analytical capability to improve mitigation advice and incident response.

Cybersecurity is not formally a part of Canada’s Open Government strategy,  However, the security of electronic government information and digital government services is critical to the success and effectiveness of that strategy and should be considered a “fourth pillar”. The other pillars of the Open Government strategy are:

  • Open Data: Offering government data in useful formats for the use of private sectors and non-governmental organizations
  • Open Information: Pro-actively release information to Canadians rather than to wait for access to information requests.
  • Open Dialogue: Use web-based technologies to engage with Canadians on government policies and priorities.