Federal government invests to protect energy sector from cyber attacks

‘This is how we ensure a secure and resilient sector’

Federal government invests to protect energy sector from cyber attacks
The feds are investing thousands to help develop a model that will decrease cyber threats.

The federal government is investing $160,000 in a Montreal-based engineering firm to develop a model that will help protect Canadian companies from cyber-attacks, providing security to the cyber systems that underpin Canada's energy infrastructure.

“This important technology will protect the Canadian energy sector from cyber threats. This is how we ensure a secure and resilient sector,” said Seamus O'Regan, minister of natural resources.

BBA's Industrial Control System (ICS) Cybersecurity Risk Methodology project will develop a model to help companies identify, assess and manage cyber risks associated with operational equipment. The project will help energy sector organizations improve their resilience to cyber-attacks and to be better prepared to respond to incidents.

The funding is provided through Natural Resources Canada's Cyber Security and Critical Energy Infrastructure Program, which received $2.42 million in Budget 2018 to enhance the cyber security and resilience of domestic and cross-border energy infrastructure under Canada's National Cyber Security Strategy.

BBA is a Canadian consulting engineering firm specialized in power, mining and metals, biofuels, oil and gas that is focused on developing cutting-edge expertise and creating reliable, sustainable and innovative solutions.

“More than ever, businesses are turning to digital technologies to make their operations smarter and more efficient – new technologies that surely bring great opportunities, but also carry their own set of risks,” said André Allaire, president of BBA. “It is with great pride that we were chosen by NRCan for our cyber security expertise and continue to be enthusiastic in helping raise awareness about the importance of protecting company operations, as well as workers, communities and the environment.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) will be hosting a live Question & Answer (Q&A) session on Twitter on Oct. 28 to provide awareness about the responsibilities of the RCMP O Division Federal Policing Cybercrime unit. This is to commemorate cybersecurity awareness month this October.

A CNBC quick survey in March found that 36 per cent of business executives believe that cybersecurity threats have increased as the majority of their employees work from home. Also, employers report that cybersecurity (35 per cent) is now the most in-demand technology skill in the world, according to a Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey released in September.

In September, the federal government encouraged all members of the research community – including those in government, academia, and the private sector – to take extra precautions to protect the security of COVID-19 related research, intellectual property and knowledge development.

WorkSafeNB also warned employers about recent phishing and call scams in New Brunswick telling employers their WHSCC “license” has expired earlier this month.