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As the internet has become the lifeboat for Canada's economy, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that keeping it safe and cure has never been more important.

Recently, CIRA was invited to appear before the House of Commons' Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology (INDU) to discuss the issue of online fraud.

As the guardians of the .CA domain name registry, CIRA was proud to be asked to appear before the committee alongside such organizations as the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Byron Holland, president and CEO; Dave Chiswell, vice-president, product; and Albert Chang, corporate counsel, were CIRA's representatives at the committee.

You can watch the entire committee hearing (including technical difficulties and all) at their website or check out a clip of the opening statement by Byron Holland below.

Some highlights of the appearance.

  • CIRA discussed the actions the organization has undertaken to keep the .CA domain registry safe from threats and online fraud. To date, CIRA has tracked just over 2000 .CA domains with COVID-19-related keywords. Many of these links are benign, however, we are monitoring all related links closely to ensure they comply with our policies.
  • CIRA also reiterated that if Canadian were to come across .CA domain name they believe to be fraudulent or malicious they should report them to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
  • CIRA also raised the fact that hackers using the atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic to prey on Canadians, particularly as they work and learn from home on unprotected devices and networks.
  • It is partially for this reason that CIRA recently launched CIRA Canadian Shield, in partnership with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. Canadian Shield is a free security and privacy solution for individual Canadians and their families that is already protecting more than 70,000 users.
  • CIRA has also launched a program to provide free access to our enterprise solution—CIRA DNS Firewall—for free to all hospital and small businesses until September 2020 to help keep them safe during the pandemic.
  • CIRA firmly believes that the best protection against fraud on the internet is education and awareness. Canadians must learn digital street smarts to avoid threats online.
  • There are many tools to help in this regard, including CIRA Cybersecurity Awareness Training, resources from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and many others.
  • CIRA encourages the federal government to do more to help Canada become a global leader in cybersecurity.

CIRA is proud to have been invited to appear before the committee, particularly alongside such influential names in the cybersecurity community. CIRA will continue to do all it can to keep Canadians safe from online threats and is proud to work with our partners in government to protect Canadians online.