Is COVID-19 today’s Y2K?

Draconian responses did more to kill the economic, social, spiritual and educational lives of citizens than stop fatalities

Is COVID-19 today’s Y2K?Twenty-one years ago, the world panicked over an invisible, media-hyped enemy. That enemy was Y2K, a problem whose shadow was much larger than its substance. Unfortunately, COVID-19 may be this era’s equivalent of that ‘millennium bug.’ The Y2K problem was essentially this: many computers had two digits for dates. If they went to 00, the…

Too many fault lines in digital voting process

The shambles of the Iowa caucuses reconfirms that electronic voting is still a long way off

Too many fault lines in digital voting processThe recent Iowa caucuses debacle reminded me of two things. First, my about-face as a member of the New Brunswick Commission on Electoral Reform with respect to electronic voting. Second, further confirmation that the electronic infrastructure continues to be an impediment in advancing digital democracy. The 21st century has empowered humanity with electronic connectivity and…

Protect yourself from financial phishing

Welcome to the predatory online scamming world. Fraudulent emails, often containing links or attachments, are dangerous. If it seems too good to be true, it is

Protect yourself from financial phishingBeware the phishing hook. Phishing describes an attempt to get you to unknowingly disclose personal information such as credit card details, banking information, usernames and passwords. The party trying to gather your information will try to hook you by sending you an email and asking you to click on a link. The email will look…

Most Canadian organizations hit by cyber-attacks in past year

Cybersecurity awareness training is effective but only 22% conduct training at least monthly

Most Canadian organizations hit by cyber-attacks in past yearA new survey finds that 71 per cent of Canadian organizations reported experiencing at least one cyber-attack last year that impacted them in some way, including time and resources, out-of-pocket expenses and paying ransom. The Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s  2019 Cybersecurity Survey Report also found that 96 per cent of respondents said that cybersecurity awareness…

Creating an unnecessary barrier between doctors and patients

A convoluted – and doomed – communication portal in Nova Scotia has failed the health care system and its users on both sides

Creating an unnecessary barrier between doctors and patientsMost businesses encourage clients to electronically access their own information because consumers value the efficiency and convenience of electronic access. Unfortunately, the Nova Scotia Department of Health (DOH) has a different idea. It has been a successful barrier preventing most Nova Scotians from retrieving and using their own health information. Few Nova Scotians have access…

We must manage the Internet of things with care

Who will ensure devices have been tested thoroughly and are secure? Who will ensure our privacy is protected?

We must manage the Internet of things with careBack in the early 1990s, I came across a story about a Coke machine that you could query from anywhere on the Internet and it would tell you the temperature of the drinks, the last time it was stocked and how full it was. The machine was in the computer science department of Carnegie Mellon…

Too few businesses concerned about data breaches: survey

Consumers feel less confident than businesses that data security is taken seriously

Too few businesses concerned about data breaches: surveyCanadian businesses are failing to prioritize data protection and remain in denial of the consequences of a data breach, according to a report released Monday by Shred-It. The company’s Data Protection Report said Canadian businesses are overconfident in their approach to information security, yet consumers are more concerned than ever. “The findings of this year’s…

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?

The key is to find digital mediums of exchange that preserve the distinct attributes of cash

Can we protect privacy in a cashless society?Canada leads the world in the transition to digitized commerce. With more than two credit cards per capita, the cashless economy is approaching swiftly. The move has been largely voluntary, driven by convenience, and half of Canadians favour dispensing with notes and coins altogether. With cash-only businesses declining to near non-existence, what’s the problem? As…

Cyberattacks costing Canadian companies millions

‘As business innovation propels forward, so too does the expanding threat landscape’

Cyberattacks costing Canadian companies millionsThe cost to Canadian companies from malware and people-based cyberattacks, such as phishing and social engineering, was an average of US$9.25 million in 2018, according to new research by Accenture and the Ponemon Institute. Accenture's 2019 Cost of Cybercrime Study was based on interviews with more than 2,600 security and information technology (IT) professionals at…

Only constant vigilance will stem a rising tide of scammers

If it sounds too good or too awful to be true, hang up or delete. In the very remote case that it’s legitimate, someone will get back to you

Only constant vigilance will stem a rising tide of scammersI’m writing this on April Fool’s Day, the day we set aside to play tricks on one another. Unfortunately, many people don’t limit their tricks to one day a year – they go way beyond harmless pranks. These scammers are usually very clever people who would rather trick the rest of us out of our…

Canadian fraud risks increasing in a complex digital landscape

If you think there's something wrong, there probably is, says Interac

Canadian fraud risks increasing in a complex digital landscapeIt’s Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and Interac Corp. has launched some tools to help Canadians not get scammed. The company said 71 per cent of Canadians said in a survey that they  feel confident in their ability to detect a phishing scam. But Interac Corp. also found that 96 per cent were unable to identify…

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacks

Canadian towns and cities hold valuable data yet are poorly prepared to detect and fend off attacks

Municipalities must protect against cyber attacksCybercriminals have caught Canadian municipalities flat-footed. Our cities must get with the times or send more taxpayer money and private data out the door. Cybercrime costs Canada $3.12 billion a year. A portion of that involves ransom payments to cybercriminals who digitally hold computers hostage. Ransomware, which involves remotely encrypting hard drives and demanding money…

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patients

Rohit Joshi talks about how Brightsquid’s patient information technology helps protect the viability of the health-care system

Sharing medical information securely and in real time to better serve patientsRohit Joshi is chief executive officer at Brightsquid. What is Brightsquid and how did it start? Joshi: Brightsquid Secure Communications Corp. is a Calgary-based communications software company that has developed technology to transfer patient information between doctors and between doctors and their patients. Clinics that use Brightsquid Secure Mail see improved patient safety and a reduction in wait times for…

Backdoor access to encryption threatens the privacy of us all

Will government agencies respect our privacy and work in our best interests? Will access fall into the wrong hands?

Backdoor access to encryption threatens the privacy of us allCanada's spy agencies want access to your encrypted communication – and they have a ploy to get it without going through Parliament. Australia is where the action is taking place, since that country has fewer constitutional protections for privacy. The 2018 Assistance and Access Bill would force tech companies such as Wickr and Telegram to…

As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itself

If Canada is serious about standing as a sovereign entity, it would make sense to support our tech companies to ensure our security

As cyber wars erupt, Canada must protect itselfThe United States is pressuring Canada to block telecommunications companies from using equipment provided by Chinese company Huawei when building our 5G cellular network for smartphones. The U.S. logic is along the lines of “We don’t have actual evidence that China is using Huawei’s products to spy on us, but we suspect that they have…
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