What do $15 billion dollars, a pipeline and China have in common?
How about foreign espionage and risks to national security? If you’ve been following the news in Canada lately, you may be aware that Chinese entities have been playing more significant roles in the Canadian resource economy. The proposed Chinese takeover of Calgary-based Nexen is a recent example.
Fresh cyber attacks against Televent Canada, a high-tech Calgary firm, also highlights the risks to firms, big and small, that produce products for Canadian infrastructure projects like transit systems and power grids. This latest event isn’t good news for the politically controversial Gateway pipeline, which is proposed to stretch from Alberta to the coast of British Columbia, Canada. It’s a $15 billion dollar deal under consideration by the Canadian government.
These recent cyber attacks clearly show that there’s a high stakes game of Chinese checkers occurring in the boardrooms of Canadian oil and gas companies, and the computer systems of major public utilities. There’s so much concern that CSIS, Canada’s national security agency, issued public warnings about the growing presence of foreign interests in the Canadian resource economy and a parallel growth of cyber attacks on Canadian corporate and public computer systems.
You don’t have to be big to be a target. As reported on cbc.ca, Wendy Dobson a University of Toronto Business Professor suggests “cyber-security is an issue and that there are growing questions about how many threats are emanating from China. She says it's wrong to single out the Chinese for scrutiny, but she warns Canadian businesses need to know that risks are out there.”
Finding A Balance
For business today, the reality is that you have to function in a global economy. So whether your business consists of 3 computers or 300 computers, domestic and foreign cyber threats can put your business at risk. No business today can risk a breach of its business plans, proposals or customer data because once the information is poached it’s extremely expensive and time consuming to contain the damage, and it’s an uphill battle to regain customer confidence.
Protect Your Interests
There are convenient and effective measures you can take to protect your business interests. The most important choice you make to secure your computer system is a reliable partner who can provide you with various choices for your needs. What’s important is that you don’t rely on slimmed down versions that are packaged as trial or freeware because these options just don’t provide against all the possible threats that are emerging from a growing, networked, global economy and some of these options are camouflaged malware and keylogging applications.
Marc Arellano teaches communication at Okanagan College in British Columbia, Canada. He has worked as a technical writer, editor and copy writer.His current academic interests focus on computer-mediated communication and the effects of new media on culture.
Marc Arellano enseigne les communications au Collège de l'Okanagan en Colombie-Britannique. Il a travaillé en tant que rédacteur, éditeur et concepteur-rédacteur. Ses intérêts académiques actuels mettent l'emphase sur la communication au moyen d'un ordinateur et sur l'effet des nouveaux médias sur la culture.