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US and Canada to launch joint cyber security plan

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The US and Canada have announced a plan to increase information sharing on critical infrastructure threats.

The 'Cyber Security Action Plan' will see more cooperation on cyber incidents between the two countries, and more outreach to businesses and citizens, Public Safety Canada and the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday.

"Canada and the US have a mutual interest in partnering to protect our shared infrastructure," said Canada's public safety minister Vic Toews. "We are committed to working together to protect vital cyber systems, to respond to and recover from any cyber disruptions, and to make cyber space safer for all our citizens."

The countries aim to improve information sharing between their respective cyber security operations centres, with increased real-time collaboration between analysts. More data at all classification levels will be shared. The plan also aims for aligned incident management and escalation processes.

Information-sharing with and between businesses will be picked up, with coordination between public and private entities on defence, mitigation and remediation.

Critical infrastructure is shared between the US and Canada, and lies in both public and private sector hands. The plan will see the US and Canada jointly conduct private sector briefings, and share information with the private sector through standardised protocols.

"The Cyber Security Action Plan reinforces the robust relationship between DHS and Public Safety Canada," said US homeland security secretary Janet Napolitano. "We look forward to continuing our work together to increase the resiliency of our networks, enhance public-private partnerships and build a culture of shared responsibility."

The two countries will also collaborate on information security public awareness campaigns.

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