Wisdom in a Wired World
Mar 15, 2012

Frontline Security continues its thrust to influence national security policies – to enable citizens, first responders and government officials to protect Canadians as we would expect in today’s world. One of the major determinants of this world is the rise in overall influence, for good and bad, of the cyber presence. This edition includes many articles on technology and the sharing of information to elicit better responses to safety and security challenges. These are but another call to action in this continuing and evolving major concern – this efficient yet vulnerable cyber-world. 

As Arnav Marchanda and David Gewirtz point out at the strategic level, the cyber dimension traverses all ­levels of government, business, personal and international operations – legal or not. Thus, cyber warfare challenges all hierarchical and bureaucratic processes and we must adjust and adapt in order to ensure continued security for all. 

Some solutions include intelligently applying modern technology at the local level, as shown in FrontLine articles on the use of UAVs in Police work and the City of Kingston’s modern Web mapping technology for its Emergency Operations Centre. 

The security of information itself becomes a key safety concern as we, as individuals and groups, rely ever more on electronic communications and the internet for everything. Banks, governments and military forces are more vulnerable than ever to aggressive states, criminal organizations and even individual trouble-makers. Though privacy is indeed a concern here, as pointed out by Barbara McIsaac, our security is seriously at risk from increasing cyber threats and should be addressed clearly in our legislation.

Some interesting initiatives are being taken at the tactical, regional and national levels to respond efficiently and economically to these challenges by grouping parties with common challenges and seeking like solutions to respond more effectively than the old independent and hierarchical silos. 

I draw to your attention the Partnerships Toward Safer Communities – Online, sponsored by the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), and its recent initiative in support of what is called a Canadian Virtual Operations Support Team. There is also the need for closer public-private cooperation to cater to the rapid changes in the cyber domain and to minimize costs, as proposed by Kevin Wennekes of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance.

On other fronts, we will be watching the evolution of the recent Canada /U.S. border agreements and immigration legislation. Edward R. Myers, in the first of three articles, addresses the ironic, weird and profitable world of cigarette smuggling; and Blair Watson voices the call to preparedness for inevitable future floods. 

In closing, I suggest that our readers heed the lessons from, and follow closely the fallout from events such as Chinese officials hosting key members of CBSA at a social, the rise of HUAWEI in Canada, and the discussions on the ownership of NEXEN. Where, when, how, and to what degree is our security at risk from foreign control? 

See you at SecureTech 2012
Clive Addy, Executive Editor