Cybersecurity expert says WRDSB breach proof change needed

A major data breach at Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) is yet another example of the need to enhance the cybersecurity capabilities of all broader public sector (BPS) entities across the province of Ontario, says Rob Wong.

“My message is that we really need to start moving on enhancing the cybersecurity capabilities for all the BPS entities across the province.”

Wong, chair of the Ontario Cyber Security Expert Panel for the Broader Public Sector, said at the moment there is simply no standard framework when it comes to cybersecurity strategies and initiatives.

First formed in October 2020, the 10-member panel committed to providing the provincial government with a final report within two years that outlines the steps that BPS organizations, which include school boards, municipalities, hospitals and other provincially funded agencies in Ontario, must take to remain secure.

Wong, the former executive vice president and chief information officer (CIO) at Toronto Hydro said a final report from the panel has been submitted to Kaleed Rasheed, Minister of Public and Business Service Delivery, however, it has yet to be approved, and as a result, the panel is on pause right now.

“I can’t get into specifics and details of (it),” he said, adding that “in general terms, I think we can all agree that many of the organizations in the broader public sector are lagging in terms of where they should be in terms of cyber resilience and capabilities to prevent and fend off these cyber attacks.”

Wong told IT World Canada that the goal is to “adopt a standard framework and follow it. These frameworks are helpful and useful. They comprise best practices that all organizations should adopt to the degree that is warranted based on their respective risk profile.”

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Paul Barker
Paul Barker
Paul Barker is the founder of PBC Communications, an independent writing firm that specializes in freelance journalism. His work has appeared in a number of technology magazines and online with the subject matter ranging from cybersecurity issues and the evolving world of edge computing to information management and artificial intelligence advances.

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