The government can’t protect your cyber property

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Yesterday, the Globe and Mail reported that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau wants to sign a cyber accord with China in an effort to help protect Canadian companies from Chinese hackers. As journalist Colin Freeze wrote:

The Globe and Mail has learned the discussions will also be a forum for Canada and China to iron out their differences on cybersecurity.

“The U.S. and U.K. recently concluded agreements with China not to engage in, or support, the theft of intellectual property and trade secrets to gain economic advantage,” said Scott Bardsley, a spokesman for Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. “A similar agreement is a possible outcome.”

Such a dialogue has profound implications for Canada’s business community, given that Chinese government hackers are frequently seen as adversaries with a voracious appetite for corporate intellectual property as well as state secrets. Past victims of Chinese hacking campaigns include the federal government’s National Research Council and, allegedly, the former telecom giant Nortel Networks.

While the plan sounds nice and dandy, it will do little to nothing to stop the cyber security threat from overseas.

For one, an accord with the Chinese still leaves every other country free to do whatever they want.

The list of nations harboring potential cyber threats and hackers is pretty vast and just as threatening.

But if we focus on China alone: a government accord would only force state actors to comply. Ordinary hackers and criminals alike would still have free reign to target Canadian companies and government departments, as they have been known to do.

CEOs and corporate leaders should take no solace in Mr. Trudeau’s plan. Relying on the government to protect you from cyber espionage is like removing the locks at your head office and leaving confidential documents out in the open because your city has a police force. It doesn’t cut it.

CEOs have an obligation to act proactively to protect company assets, no matter where they’re stored. Company communications are a key area of vulnerability. They must be protected.

Bill Wells is the Chairman of Evizone

About Evizone Ltd.
Evizone Ltd. is a revolutionary secure communications, encryption and compliance software and service provider based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Evizone offers innovative enterprise solutions in secure messaging (next generation beyond encrypted e mail) and encryption, encryption at rest, regulatory compliance, compliance archiving, WORM compliance, 17a-4 compliance, document life cycle management and communications governance and risk management. Evizone’s services protect organizations through best in class security, encryption, recipient controls, document life cycle management, discovery management, compliance management, compliance archiving, tamper proof WORM and 17a-4 compliance archiving and complete audit records against the enormous damage caused by communications breaches. Evizone’s patented technologies offer a level of security impossible to obtain with conventional or encrypted email and fast, powerful, user friendly compliance archiving. Evizone’s services are immediately available on multiple platforms and provide the strongest commercially available communications security and compliance archiving. You can follow Evizone on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082,


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