In the News

Aug 02, 2017

In a new policy update written for the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Hugh Segal, former Senator, Master of Massey College, CGAI Fellow, and senior advisor at Aird & Berlis LLP, outlines recommendations for Canada and Canadians to stay ahead of a rapidly changing security threat.

Cyber-security presents a number of challenges. But they can be inflated. Canadians currently have a healthy skepticism of the government's ability to deal with the challenges due to a media which overstates some threats (the ubiquitous use of the term "hack" comes to mind), and stories about government IT failures (Phoenix, Shared Services Canada). Democracies are also particularly ill-equipped to deal with this threat due need for transparency in an inherently opaque world. It is also top of mind, since we are almost universally connected.

To respond to these challenges, and to convince the Canadian public that the government is responding, Segal writes that "Canada needs a rational measured approach that combines technical acuity, public education, some regulatory refinement, and a coherent and steady focus on defence, interdiction, prevention and enhanced awareness."

For any policy moving forward, Canada needs five operating principles:

  • Perspective;
  • Capacity;
  • Flexibility;
  • Democratic Oversight; and
  • Collaborative Public Education.

Segal concludes that cyber-security is a whole-of-society problem and therefore can only be solved if everyone, public and private sectors, are included in the solution. And any solution must be multi-faceted and break down any stovepipes which would wall off a very fluid new realm.

View the new policy update here.