OTTAWA, Sept. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadians know far more about how to use
digital technologies than about how to protect themselves and others
from vulnerabilities created by those technologies. To counter the
growing range of cyber threats, this gap in knowledge and awareness
needs to be closed, says a Conference Board of Canada report, It's All About You: Building Capacity in Cyber Security.
"As individuals, we fail to make good cyber-risk decisions because we
lack a thorough understanding of how we are vulnerable and what could
happen as a result. We therefore do not participate effectively in what
should be a "whole-of-nation effort" to counter threats to people,
organizations and the country," said John Neily, Director, National
Security and Public Safety.
The report finds that knowledge and awareness gap exists at three
Scope - Cyber threats exist at the national, organizational and
individual levels. Most users pay attention only to threats that affect
them directly, such as spam and viruses. But governments and businesses
must contend with threats to digital infrastructure stemming from
intentional sabotage, human error, accidents, and natural events. They
also must deal with the risks of online crime, espionage and (military
or ideological) conflict.
Technology - When the internet was designed, security was not one of the
priorities. Digital technology makes it too easy for cyber-criminals,
cyber-spies, and cyber-activists to harm businesses and challenge the
power of governments.
People - Individuals represent the greatest vulnerability to digital
security, but they also are indispensible in making cyberspace more
secure. People must become more aware of threats and their potential
consequences. However, it has been difficult to date to motivate the
average user to take cyber threats seriously.
Leaders in both the private sector and government - both of which have
made major investments in digital infrastructure —need to deepen their
knowledge of the potential threats, so they can improve the
effectiveness of cyber security policies, programs, and technologies.
In addition, enhancing the digital skills and literacy of Canadian
users and improving the guidance parents, teachers, and peers give to
young people concerning the use of digital technologies should be a
The report, which is available from the Conference Board of Canada's e-library, (http://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/default.aspx) was produced with the support of the Centre for National Security. The
Centre provides a trusted forum for public and private sector
organizations to engage with each other on the critical issues
affecting Canada's national security today and in the future.
SOURCE CONFERENCE BOARD OF CANADA
For further information:
Brent Dowdall, Media Relations, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 448