US and Canada announce joint Cybersecurity Action Plan

The US Department of Homeland Security and Public Safety Canada announced a joint Cybersecurity Action Plan on Friday October 26.

This collaboration between the US and Canada aims to strengthen internet security measures in both countries through joint cybersecurity activities, with the goal of protecting critical infrastructure while ensuring the freedom and openness of the internet.

Canadian minister of public safety Vic Toews highlighted the importance of international co-operation in addressing cybersecurity.

"Because the internet knows no borders, Canada and the US have a mutual interest in partnering to protect our shared infrastructure," said Mr Toews.

This high-level recognition of the threats posed by cyber attacks to critical infrastructure should resonate with any business with online operations.

The importance of vulnerability management is something made obvious by recent weather events on the east coast of the United States, according to US secretary of homeland defense Janet Napolitano.

US congressional newspaper The Hill reports that the secretary, speaking at a Washington Post cybersecurity summit on October 31, said that the nations' utilities, pipelines and financial institutions were all vulnerable to cyber attack.

Ms Napolitano noted that the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Sandy illustrated the importance of protecting key infrastructure.

"If you think that a critical systems attack that takes down a utility even for a few hours is not serious, just look at what is happening now that Mother Nature has taken out those facilities," said Ms Napolitano.

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