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Canada is in a battle. As the country bands together to stop the spread of COVID-19, we see heroes in our communities every day who are on the front lines dealing with massive upheaval. Doctors, nurses, small business owners, teachers and students are all dealing with their worlds being turned upside down.

We see distilleries making hand sanitizer; manufacturers shifting production to make protective masks and ventilators; and local restaurants feeding doctors and nurses on the front line.

At CIRA, we are in the critical position of managing a resource that is in great demand right now—the internet. So we asked ourselves, other than keeping the .CA domain name system strong and robust, what else can we do?

One of the duties we take very seriously at CIRA is protecting Canada's internet. Through our expanding suite of cybersecurity solutions, we have made it our mission to protect Canada's businesses and institutions.

Unfortunately, as often happens in emergencies, criminals are also trying to take advantage of the situation. Hackers are using COVID-19-related domains, phishing scams and malware to attack hospitals, small businesses and individual Canadians.

So, in an effort to try to protect those who are both protecting us and keeping our country running right now, CIRA is opening up access to many of our cybersecurity services for free.

How are we helping?

  • Starting today, all hospitals, medical clinics and healthcare facilities can add CIRA DNS Firewall to their networks free until September 30.
  • All healthcare workers are also invited to join the Early Access Program for our upcoming free DNS personal firewall service—CIRA Canadian Shield.
  • Also starting today, all small businesses and non-profits with fewer than 100 users can add CIRA DNS Firewall to their networks free until September 30.
  • To help protect small businesses who are now managing employees working from home, we are also inviting them to join the Early Access Program for CIRA Canadian Shield, our upcoming free DNS firewall to protect personal devices and home networks.
  • To protect all those who have been thrown into a mass experiment in online learning, we are also inviting all teachers, professors, educational assistants and students to join the Early Access Program for CIRA Canadian Shield, a free DNS firewall to protect personal devices and home networks.
  • Finally, we are offering up a free course from the CIRA Cybersecurity Awareness Training platform, Cybersecurity for remote workers, for all Canadians to help them practice safer internet habits while they work from home.

For more information and to sign up for this program visit: cira.ca/protect-canada.

The internet has been a lifeline for Canada in these trying times. We are seeing a sense of online community like never before as Canadians get together to support each other; learn online; play games; connect with family and friends; and run their businesses. CIRA has always been an advocate for a strong internet for Canadians through initiatives such as our Community Investment Program and we will continue to support Canada's internet through whatever may come in the future.

Take care out there (but stay far apart).