October 23, 2012 / 3:23 PM / in 5 years

Canada slow to respond to cyber threats - auditor

* Canada lacks round-the-clock incident response center

Oct 23 (Reuters) - Canada’s response to cyber threats has been slow and incomplete, the federal Auditor General said in a report on Tuesday that cited bad communication and part-time monitoring as weaknesses in the nation’s computer security system.

The federal government has made limited progress in patching cracks in the security of Canada’s infrastructure and information technology network, which was attacked nearly two years ago in an incident that was traced back to servers in China, Auditor General Michael Ferguson said.

The government is trying to shore up protection for the country’s infrastructure and IT assets, including electrical networks, telecommunications, banking systems, manufacturing and transportation systems as well as government information systems.

Ferguson criticized poor monitoring of threats, noting the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Center is still not operating 24 hours a day or 7 days a week, as was intended when the center was set up seven years ago.

“This restriction on operating hours can delay the detection of emerging threats and the sharing of related information among stakeholders,” the report concluded.

A cyber attack in January 2011 crippled computer systems at the Finance Department and Treasury Board.

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