Most Crown corporations, smaller government departments, and agencies in Canada are not using specialized cyber defense sensors to protect themselves from state-sponsored cyber attacks, despite a warning from Canada’s security review bodies. A report released by the National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians last year highlighted gaps in the government’s network and warned that this could pose a security risk. These organizations handle sensitive information and are at risk of being targeted by sophisticated cyber actors, including states. The report recommended extending the use of cyber defense sensors to cover all federal entities. However, new numbers from the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) show that less than half of these organizations have followed this recommendation. The CSE’s own in-house technology, called Host-Based Sensors (HBS), is used to gather system data and detect and neutralize malicious activity. The sensors process over 200,000 host events per second. The Treasury Board stated that each organization is responsible for their own cyber defense decisions but encouraged them to take advantage of government cyber defense services. The government has previously been criticized for its slow response to recommendations from the committee. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has acknowledged the need to do better and has asked the committee to review foreign interference in Canada’s democratic processes.

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