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Town of Canmore target of 25 cyber attacks in recent years

The cyber-attacks managed to get through the Town's firewall, but additional levels of security stopped the attacks before they were able to gain access to sensitive information
The Town of Canmore's IT department has prevented 25 cyber-attacks in the past few years. RMO File photo.

CANMORE – The Town of Canmore has prevented 25 cyber-attacks from infiltrating its information technology (IT) systems over the past few years, according to the Town’s IT manager.

Gordon Reid said the attacks managed to get past the Town’s firewall, however additional levels of security stopped the attacks before they were able to gain access to sensitive information.

“We take this very seriously,” said Reid, explaining the Town has since upgraded its firewall and regularly reviews its other levels of security.

“We are proactively working to make sure we stay one step ahead of any threats that may be out there, we can never guarantee absolute security, but as of today we’re in good in shape and we are not seeing any heightened risk at all.”

He said the Town has three levels of security including a firewall that surrounds the Town’s network, anti-virus software, and email security to weed out viruses and malware disguised as legitimate emails.

“It’s a bit of a game of cat and mouse,” said Reid, explaining cyber-attacks are constantly evolving. “I think we’re in really good shape, but at the same time we are monitoring things carefully when we do get attacked and looking for any new trends that may identify a gap in our security.”

He said most of the attacks the Town faces come through email.

“The challenge with email is malware and other viruses are getting more and more sophisticated and at the end of the day there’s a certain reliance on the end-user to also identify these problematic emails,” said Reid.

“We have had a couple, which have got to the point where users have mistakenly done something, but again those were identified really quickly and terminated by the IT organization within minutes or hours of it happening.”

He said in the event an attack does occur and there is a privacy breach, the Town’s senior leadership team would be notified immediately and depending on the severity of the breach a decision would be made as to how to communicate the breach to the public.

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