Canada, United States Cooperate to Strengthen Cybersecurity
October 31, 2012
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Canadian Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews on October 26 announced the Cybersecurity Action Plan, which aims to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation through enhanced integration and collaboration of joint cybersecurity activities between their two agencies.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said this plan represents just one of many important efforts between the United States and Canada to deepen strong bilateral cybersecurity cooperation and advance the objectives in the February 2011 declaration “Beyond the Border: A Vision for Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness.” That declaration is aimed at defending and protecting critical infrastructure, ensuring resiliency of mutual assets and securing a free and open cyberspace.
“The Cybersecurity Action Plan reinforces the robust relationship between DHS and Public Safety Canada,” said Napolitano. “We look forward to continuing our work together to increase the resiliency of our networks, enhance public-private partnerships, and build a culture of shared responsibility.”
“Because the Internet knows no borders, Canada and the U.S. have a mutual interest in partnering to protect our shared infrastructure,” said Toews. “We are committed to working with the U.S. to protect vital government and critical digital infrastructure of binational importance, and to make cyberspace safer for all our citizens.”
The Cybersecurity Action Plan outlines shared goals for improved engagement, collaboration, and information sharing at the operational and strategic levels, with the private sector, and in public awareness activities.
The joint Cybersecurity Action Plan follows the September 27 announcement by Toews of a new partnership between Public Safety Canada and the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign.
In 2009, President Obama recognized the need to increase education and dialogue about cybersecurity. The president ordered the Cyberspace Policy Review. The review, DHS said, has become the blueprint from which the U.S. cybersecurity foundation “will transform into an assured and resilient digital infrastructure for the future.”
As part of this policy review, the Department of Homeland Security was asked to create an ongoing cybersecurity awareness campaign — Stop.Think.Connect. — to help Americans understand the risks that come with being online. The Stop.Think.Connect. campaign launched on October 4, 2010, in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
The U.S. cybersecurity awareness effort, DHS said, complements Canada’s Get Cyber Safe campaign, which provides Canadians with the information they need to protect themselves and their families against online threats.
Both announcements underscore the importance of collaborative efforts and the commitment from the governments of Canada and the United States to cybersecurity and protection of critical infrastructure, DHS said.