‘This will go a long way in protecting this vital segment of our economy’
The federal government is investing $500,000 over four years to the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance for their Cyber Security Capacity in Canadian Agriculture project.
The project will assess the cybersecurity capacity of the Canadian agricultural sector. It will also engage with Canadian farm operators and other stakeholders to promote awareness and develop resources related to cybersecurity of farming operations.
“Canadian agriculture is a critical and increasingly interconnected service, and it is a key part of our economy, trade, and food supply. This funding to the Community Safety Knowledge Alliance for their Cyber Security Capacity in Canadian Agriculture project will help foster collaboration and protect cyber systems from compromise,” said Bill Blair, minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.
The Community Safety Knowledge Alliance is a non-profit corporation that mobilizes, integrates, and facilitates research and new knowledge development on community safety and well-being. They work with academia, government, research and technology organizations, industry and community agencies to achieve their goals and mission.
“The rapidly evolving cyber threat environment within which Canada’s agricultural sector operates is outpacing the abilities of many farm and other agricultural operations to adapt and respond,” said Cal Corley, CEO at Community Safety Knowledge Alliance. “This initiative will help better understand and support the sector in closing critical gaps. This will go a long way in protecting this vital segment of our economy – and the livelihoods and well-being of so many families.”
In October 2020, the government also invested $160,000 in a Montreal-based engineering firm to develop a model that will help protect Canadian companies from cyber-attacks.
The latest funding is made available under the Cyber Security Cooperation Program, launched in August 2019 under the National Cyber Security Strategy. It has $10.3 million in available funding over five years with $4.2 million available from 2021-2024.
Attacks on web applications rose by 800 per cent in the first six months of 2020 compared to the same period the previous year, according to a report from CDN and cloud security provider CDNetworks.
And 97 per cent of Canadian businesses say their cybersecurity strategies will shift as a result of the increased digitization during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to PwC Canada's Digital Trust Insights report released in December 2020.