Cyber Attack on Government Service Providers Resulted in Data Breach to Thousands of Canadian Government Employees… What Can Be Learned

5/5 - (1 vote)

An image of a Canadian IT executive on her Iphone being informed of a cyberattack on her organization.

When IT leaders think of cyberattacks, they think of their customers’ sensitive data, but all too often it’s the employees that get compromised. The internet exploded in November of last year when the Canadian Government announced an investigation into a cyberattack that targeted private companies working to relocate military, federal police and foreign service members.

Federal government employees saw their personal and financial data compromised by companies who apparently administer 20,000 federal moves annually. The data breach covered 24 years of data, so a lot of people were affected.

One thing that stands out is that it was private enterprise serving government who got hacked. Clearly the service providers lucky enough to win coveted, high-value government contracts weren’t doing enough to ensure that data was protected.

What does this mean to the future of RFPs to government, not to mention government expectations of service providers?

Is there an opportunity for your organization be a standout here?

One thing’s certain, you don’t want to be the IT executive in charge when something like this happens.

What are some ways you can prepare so that when a government opportunity shows up, they’ll know their data is secure with you? Alternatively, what are some swift actions you can take to catch up if you find yourself falling behind?

Some initial steps include:

  1. Make sure you have in place a secure cyber security apparatus that protects both client and employee data. Being aware of weaknesses is a strength, which is why thriving companies invest in Penetration Testing. You’re an IT leader. Have you made pen testing a firm component of your budget? How frequently do you test?
  2. Ensure your solution includes vetted external resources with expertise that extends beyond the dynamics of your current team.
  3. Establish managed detection response. This takes pressure off your teams and leads to instantaneous threat detection.

Some comprehensive measures include:

  • Constant vigilance, regular security audits, and learning from high-profile breaches.
  • Multi-layered security defenses to protect against various attack vectors.
  • Employee training and awareness programs to mitigate the risk of human error and insider threats.
  • Strong incident response planning to minimize the impact of a potential breach.
  • Regular updates and patches to all systems and software to guard against known vulnerabilities.

Supporting your team by providing them with the resources they need to properly protect your clients sets them – and you – up for success. This is the difference between proactive and reactive IT leadership.

Interested in seeing how your IT infrastructure shores up? See if you qualify for a complementary Penetration Test from F12 (a value of at least $10,000). Click here to see if you qualify.