Canadian Military’s Cyber Force Lacks Training, Personnel: Report

An internal review of the Canadian military’s cyber force has found that it is facing a shortage of personnel and proper training, hampering its capacity to carry out critical cyber missions.

This is despite the government in 2017 calling to ramp up the recruitment of cyber specialists and provide them with training needed to fend off sophisticated cyberattacks.

According to an internal evaluation obtained by Ottawa Citizen, the cyber force has struggled to meet the call because of “inefficiencies with everything,” from procurement to security clearances.

“Security clearance processes and timelines have adverse impacts on ensuring cyber units are adequately staffed and able to perform their duties,” the internal review noted without elaborating.

Because of the shortage, the Canadian military’s cyber force reportedly struggles to plan and implement cyber solutions, risking various cyber initiatives.

84% Say Cyber Operators Insufficient

Composed of a mix of military personnel and civilians, the cyber force is tasked with protecting the networks of the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian military.

It detects and responds to attempts to hack military systems and provide necessary cyber support for a variety of military missions.

But according to 84 percent of the personnel interviewed by the evaluation team, “there are not enough cyber operators” to perform these defense operations.

The staffing and training issues could have contributed to several successful attempts to breach Canadian military systems.

In September 2023, a group of Indian hackers claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that temporarily took down Canadian military websites.

Despite the websites being inaccessible to mobile users for almost two hours, the Canadian defense ministry called the attack a “minor inconvenience” that happens often.

A month later, the DND reported a hacking incident that targeted a company that arranges Canadian military movements.

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