Rural Saskatchewan needs to address cyber security threats: experts | Techno Glob


In 2022, it is almost impossible not to have a digital footprint. Work, school and social media have all been brought into the digital age and with it comes a focus on cyber security.

October marks Cyber ​​Security Awareness Month in Canada, and one expert believes local governments, particularly in rural areas, need to take the time to review their defenses.

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Being in rural areas, there is often less money invested in cyber security than in larger centers.

“There are big differences depending on the size of the municipality and the priority areas,” said cyber security advocate Brennen Schmidt.

“You may have a bit of an imbalance between smaller-sized municipalities and what they can typically invest in cybersecurity, versus municipalities that may be larger and have the capacity to invest.”

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According to the Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security, a quarter of Canadians say they have been the victim of a virus, malware or spyware attack.

“You might have a computer sitting on the floor somewhere with a lot of utility and financial information,” Schmidt said, “then all of a sudden an email comes in, you click on that email, and all of a sudden it’s ransomware.

Schmidt argues that Saskatchewan municipalities should consider preparing their cyber security budgets for a better future.

“Municipalities, education and health care have been hit the hardest because of how important the services they provide and, more importantly, the type of information they collect and maintain,” he explained.

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For Schmidt, the perfect example of why the investment is needed comes after an attack in 2021 that canceled visits and crippled health services in Newfoundland, and an attack in Waterloo this summer that compromised many students’ personal information.

Going forward, he believes there needs to be more discussion on cyber security in rural areas.

“I think the first step to solving this challenge is to move away from the money conversation. And in fact, we need to move to a conversation about engaging in dialogue between municipalities and starting a conversation about what shared service agreements look like.

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Similar to the fire department, which shares infrastructure with other sectors, Schmidt believes the same should be applied to cyber security in Saskatchewan.

“We’ve reached that critical point, especially with the increase in cyber-attacks on municipalities in Canada and North America,” Schmidt explained. “Now is the time to really engage in that conversation and start saying, let’s see what capabilities we have.”


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