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Panel 410 - Lines in the Sand: the Struggle for National Security in a World of Globalized Technology

Conference Day: 
Day 3 - November 15th 2019
Takeaways and recommendations: 

Lines in the Sand: the Struggle for National Security in a World of Globalized Technology

Organized by:  Mike Pereira, David Johnston Research + Technology Park

Speakers: Bill Munson, University of Waterloo; Bessma Momani, Professor, University of Waterloo; Patrick Rhude, Management, Nokia Security

Moderator: Mike Pereira, David Johnston Research + Technology Park

Takeaways:

  1. Technology is challenging our conception of place and identity. In addition to interesting opportunities it brings terrifying risks that we’re not prepared to deal with on the policy side.

  2. Weak cybersecurity is beginning to pose real threats to social cohesion. 

  3. One of the challenges of cybersecurity is that we don’t see it as a tool of war with few to no regulations or engagement. There is also little public knowledge about potential threats. 

  4. Large data collecting companies are not nearly as worrisome as countries like North Korea, China, Russia and Iran who use cyber in a way that’s disruptive and destructive from a national security perspective. 

  5. People fear the state’s collection and use of our data and what that means to our privacy, yet tech companies have more information on citizens – data that is often voluntarily provided.

  6. Canada’s privacy policy is lagging decades behind what it should be. 

  7. We believe that what happens in the technology and cyber domains makes our lives easier but the cumulative impact of that for rogue states or adversaries is a real threat.

  8. The digitization of everything – even traditionally heavy infrastructure like roads and bridges – means we are increasingly vulnerable to threats to our national security.

  9. The level of protection for our critical infrastructures is very weak. We are unprepared for emerging threats.

Actions:

  1. We need to invest in the protection of our infrastructure and make it difficult to attack, not only from without but from within.

  2. We have to stop acknowledge that our security systems are archaic and vulnerable to cyber threats.

  3. We need to seriously consider mobilizing a cyber army to protect our national security. This will require incentivizing recruits and make it appealing for talent to join.