Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Canadian government falling short on data protection
Secure File Transfer
Several departments within the Canadian government have demonstrated unsatisfactory approaches toward data security, according to a recent report from the country's privacy commissioner, Jennifer Stoddart. The Canadian Press reported the analysis was based on statistics compiled by Parliament in April. This data revealed that there have been more than 3,000 data breaches in the past 10 years which have affected nearly three-quarters of a million Canadians.
The news source reported that after combing through the data, Stoddart concluded that nine Canadian departments and agencies have unsatisfactory data security procedures in place, in addition to failing to adequately report or track breaches.
"We know it's a systemic problem," explained Stoddart, according to the news source. "We've seen it for years. So I think a positive action on the part of the government to strengthen education about it, prevention, followup and so on, would be the way to go."
Among the departments singled out for insufficient data security standards were Citizenship and Immigration, Correctional Service and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the news source noted.
Better tools needed
In order to better protect citizens' sensitive data, Canadian governmental agencies may need to invest in better, more reliable data security tools. For example, organizations should consider utilizing high-quality secure file transfer solutions. These programs are specifically designed to protect big data sets as they are sent and received by authorized personnel within a given organization. Such protection is critical for two reasons. First, data is often at its most vulnerable while it is being moved between departments or employees. Second, governments are now collecting a tremendous amount of information, and legacy data security solutions simply cannot protect such vast data sets, thereby creating a need for dedicated big data security solutions.