Businesses and other private-sector organizations would be required to report ransomware incidents and other cyberattacks to the government under a federal bill to be tabled today.
The legislation is intended to flesh out Liberal government efforts to protect critical infrastructure following last month’s announcement that Chinese vendors Huawei Technologies and ZTE will be banned from Canada’s next-generation mobile networks.
At the time, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino said the Liberals would table legislation that goes further, taking additional steps to protect infrastructure in the telecommunications, finance, energy and transport sectors.
He said it would establish a framework to better shield systems vital to national security and give the government a new tool to respond to emerging dangers in cyberspace.
Attacks on companies, universities and even hospitals by cybercriminals who hold data hostage in return for a ransom have become alarmingly common.
Some targeted organizations have preferred to pay the fee demanded to try to make the problem go away quietly, making it difficult for officials to get a full picture of the phenomenon.