Cybersecurity: changes on the horizon
By: Laurent Carlier, Senior Manager, Risk, Performance and Technology Services
The recent U.S. presidential campaign underscored the importance of cybersecurity like never before. A substantial portion of the first presidential debate was devoted to this issue; and cyberattacks targeting the Democratic Party continue to make headlines, with James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, claiming that Russia’s leaders may even be their ultimate source. In the wake of this unprecedented spotlight on cybersecurity, major changes are to be expected, and these changes are sure to affect companies in Canada.
Heightened regulations on the horizon
In addition to media attention, threats are on the rise: ransomware is claiming an increasing number of victims and money stolen through such schemes as CEO scam is reaching record levels. In a context where cybersecurity risks continue to grow and where cyberattacks have increasingly serious consequences, these issues will take on mounting importance in the political agenda in the United States and elsewhere.
In the last number of years, many governments have set up agencies specifically tasked with monitoring IT system security. France is a case in point, with its creation of the Agence nationale de la sécurité des systèmes informatiques in 2009. However, the steps taken by governments and their agencies have, to date, placed the emphasis on prevention above all. In Canada, the Canadian Securities Administrators, the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Autorité des marchés financiers have all published guides or documents to raise awareness about cybersecurity challenges.
Consequences for Canadian businesses
2017 could well be the year that government authorities decide to take action to boost IT security. Already in September 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services implemented a series of measures for banks, insurance companies and other regulated organizations. These measures will take effect in March 2017 and will have a significant impact on all companies doing business with the targeted companies, including many Canadian enterprises. A certification will be required starting in 2018.
It’s only a matter of time before other U.S. and Canadian authorities follow the New York State Department of Financial Services’ example and implement new regulations to fight cyberattacks. The regulations won’t be limited to the financial industry: the threats affect all sectors, notably health, energy and retail.
Companies have every interest in being proactive in this regard and in immediately implementing rigorous measures to protect their IT security. The first step to making your company more resilient is to have experts conduct an in-depth diagnostic of your computer system vulnerabilities.
Senior executives and members of the board have a responsibility to be at the forefront of changes in this domain. No longer can anyone pretend to ignore the significant threat posed by cyberattacks. On the heels of the U.S. election, you can bet that this year will see some major changes where cybersecurity is concerned.
Stay tuned for new posts in our The Trump Effect series. Missed a post? Read on here:
Post 1: Insights: The US Corporate Tax Code
Post 2: Should we really expect an influx of U.S. citizens in Canada?
Post 3: What does the future of TPP mean for your business?
Post 4: Is NAFTA next?
Post 5: How the new administration could affect the tech sector
Post 6: Cybersecurity: changes on the horizon
Learn more: USB Scam: Don’t fall victim
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