The city of Fredericton, New Brunswick, has agreed to pay C$100,000 (almost $75,000) to cybersecurity company, Bulletproof Solutions, to strengthen its network and protect it from cyber-attacks. The three-year agreement was approved at the city council meeting on Monday, May 27, 2019. 

The city’s assistant director of finance, innovation and technology, Adam Bell, believes that this move will help protect against the rise of municipality attacks. This follows a cyber-attack that hit the city of Stratford, Ontario, in April, which affected the city’s email system and online forms.

According to Akamai and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority‘s (CIRA) Fall 2018 Cybersecurity Report, 40 percent of respondents experienced a cyber-attack in the previous 12 months, with large businesses seeing 66 percent. Fredericton joins around two-thirds of Canadian businesses that outsource part of the cybersecurity footprint to external vendors.

However, 88 percent of Canadian employees of these companies are concerned with the prospect of future cyber-attacks. Perhaps they are right to be: 37 percent of companies don’t have anti-malware protection installed, and nearly 75 percent did not have a formal patching policy, which exposes organizations to massive security holes.

“A key element of building a better online Canada is ensuring Canadians have safe, secure internet access,” president and CEO of CIRA, Byron Holland, said. In the introduction of the Akamai report, Holland explains that hackers will be attracted to companies with a lot of personal data, such as a government organization, because they can make money from it on the dark web.

“Personal information is being sold on the dark web for as little as $5 for a credit card number, $30 for an entire identity, or up to $1,000 for medical records. There are hundreds of examples of low hanging fruit for hackers in everyday interactions Canadians have with businesses every day. All these situations are potential breaches and many businesses don’t even know the risks.”

The upgrade was approved the same day Fredericton hosted its hackathon to find internet of things solutions for the city.

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