Federal Government Pouring Money into Anti-Cybercrime Plan

The federal government says it will put an additional $142.6 million into its anti-cybercrime strategy over the next five years.

That money is intended to help protect private-sector computer systems, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney said.

The announcement comes after hackers broke into Toronto-based AshleyMadison.com, stealing private data and threatening to expose users of the site which helps people cheat on their partners.

However, the new money doesn’t appear to be related to that breach.

The new money will go directly to Public Safety Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Communications Security Establishment (Canada’s signals intelligence agency) and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.

“As long as our digital infrastructure continues to evolve, there will always be those who try to exploit vulnerabilities to undermine Canada’s national security, public safety and economic prosperity,” Blaney said. “Collaboration and information-sharing with critical infrastructure sectors and private sector partners is our best defence to protect our essential cyber systems.”

Among the programs the money is intended to support is a dedicated RCMP team that will investigate “high-priority cybercrime.”

Also in the works is a real-time notification system that will be used by the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre to notify the private sector about digital threats.

The money will also be used to create the “Regional Resilience Assessment Program,” which will see Public Safety Canada conduct assessments of the overall cybersecurity level of businesses and organizations in the banking, telecommunications, energy and utilities sectors.

John Manley, the CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, was present at the announcement and said he welcomes the new money.

Cyber security is a shared responsibility, so I am pleased about this important step forward to enhance our collaboration with the Federal Government on this important issue. These advancements to the Strategy will ensure our essential systems have the latest threat information, as well as help us to continue to build on each other’s strengths,” he said.

The announcement brings federal funding for cybersecurity to $237 million over the next five years.

Though, with a federal election scheduled for October, that could change.