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Cyberthreat: the fé ;dédral wants to work with energy companies

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According to the federal government, companies in the sector oil and gas are increasingly threatened by cyberattacks.

The Canadian Press

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Federal security officials met with top energy company executives to brief them on cyber threats. This is part of the federal government's strategy to reduce risks in this sector.

A memo from the Ministry of Public Safety, obtained by The Canadian Press, reveals that the secret meeting, which took place in June, is part of a strategy aimed at making company management aware of the dangers of cyber activities malicious.

The confidential discussions were held by the Ministry of Public Safety, the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Communications Security Establishment (CSE ), Canada's cyberspace spy agency.

The Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security of the CSE mentioned, in an assessment published (New window) earlier this year, that cybercrime activities motivated by financial gain, more particularly the compromise of business emails and ransomware, are the leading cyber threat targeting the oil and gas sector.

According to him, this sector will continue to be targeted by state-sponsored cyberespionage for commercial or economic purposes. Proprietary trade secrets, research, and business and production plans are also at risk, the report said.

The Department of Public Safety memo, written earlier this summer, said Suncor Energy and Nunavut Energy were targeted by cyberattacks this year.

This ministry also plans to adopt other strategies, including creating closer relationships with industry, universities, provinces and territories within a common forum.

The goal is to speak to senior company executives, not just technical experts who are already aware of the threats, it adds in the note.

Speaking to senior executives is crucial to embedding security across the entire business ecosystem and ensuring a collective approach to strengthening our resilience.

A quote from Excerpt from the note from the Ministry of Public Security

Industrial associations, government agencies and ministries also participated in the June meeting. Attendees included Enbridge's chief information officer, the company acknowledges.

We have a dedicated team of #x27;experts on cybersecurity and a powerful cybersecurity program in place that continuously monitors cyber threats, says Enbridge. We work with governments and regulatory agencies and participate in external activities to share information.

Canadian Parliament is considering legislation to enact the Critical Cyber ​​Systems Protection Act. The goal of such a law is to create a regulatory framework to protect federally regulated private businesses.

The Department of Public Safety believes this law will prevent cybercrime activities from undermining the country's pipeline network. The Energy Board will be one of the federal agencies that will ensure compliance with the upcoming law.

The June meeting prompted Gitane De Silva, former CEO of the Régie, to request a meeting with the Ministry of Public Security and the CSE to discuss collaboration between the three organizations and the role of the Régie.

Ms. De Silva, who left her post since this request, declined to comment. A spokesperson for the Régie, Amanda Williams, said the agency met with the companies under its responsibility to confirm expectations regarding cybersecurity.

Several civil society groups have called for amendments to the bill, saying it can infringe on privacy and undermine the principles of accountability and justice.

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