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ARCHIVED - Keeping science safe at NRC

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As one of Canada’s leading research organizations, NRC has sensitive, top secret and proprietary science on its computers — science that has taken much intellectual effort, time and resources to produce.

The first virus

It’s been 25 years since the first computer virus spread through the Internet. Hear its story and what followed from computer security expert Mikko Hyppönen, speaking at Ted talks.

According to Shayne Dark, an information systems security analyst at NRC, the key to protecting that science is for everyone to understand its value. As he points out, “we wouldn’t leave a wallet out on our desk all day, but we sometimes leave information with considerably more value out on that same desk, on our computer.”

Dark’s job involves vigilant monitoring of the NRC networks for cyber attacks, viruses and outbound connections to known compromised sites. It also includes an awareness-building component to ensure that NRC staff know their responsibilities in regards to keeping their research secure, and the best ways to do just that.

As Dark sums up, “All the technological tools that I have and the talent that we employ are no good unless we also have an aware, knowledgeable staff at NRC. The more that they know about cyber security, the easier my job becomes.”

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ISSN 1927-0275 = Dimensions (Ottawa. Online)