OTTAWA, April 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) is pleased to announce the official launch of CIRA Canadian Shield—a free DNS firewall service that will provide online privacy and security to individuals and families across Canada.

As Canadians have shifted to working and learning from home en masse due to COVID-19, their personal devices and home networks are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Unfortunately, most do not have access to the protection that large corporations and institutions apply to their data and devices. Canadian Shield will provide enterprise-grade privacy and cybersecurity protection to Canadians by leveraging CIRA’s national DNS infrastructure, decades of experience in protecting Canada’s internet, and global partnership with Akamai Technologies.

As a non-profit organization committed to strengthening Canada’s internet, CIRA has no interest in monetizing the browsing data of Canadians. CIRA will never sell access to personal data, nor use it to target advertising. For more information, please view our Privacy Policy.

CIRA has also partnered with the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) to integrate its Canadian threat feed into Canadian Shield. This partnership provides Canadian Shield users with enhanced protections through Cyber Centre derived threat intelligence. No personally identifiable information (PII) of any kind is transmitted to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security as part of this process.

Key facts

  • CIRA Canadian Shield offers three free levels of service:
        º Private: prevents the commercialization of the user’s DNS for better online privacy
        º Protected: all features of Private plus added malware, botnet and phishing protection
        º Family: all features of Protected plus added adult content blocking
  • CIRA Canadian Shield is available as a free DNS service that operates on IPv4, IPv6 and the newest DNS encryption standards—DNS over HTTPS (DoH and DNS over TLS (DoT). For IP addresses and other info, please read our configuration guide.
  • CIRA’s deployment of a national, public DNS over HTTPS (DoH) service is the first of its kind in the world.
  • CIRA Canadian Shield is also available via a mobile app to protect Canadians’ smartphones and tablets, thanks to a partnership with Mobolize. It is a free download in both the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play store (Android).
  • Canadian Shield is built on the backbone of CIRA DNS Firewall in partnership with Akamai, who’s powerful threat detection adds over 100,000 new threats per day. This provides Canadians with a made in Canada solution with global reach.
  • CIRA has also partnered with TekSavvy to deploy four Canadian Shield nodes into TekSavvy data centres in Toronto (2), Montreal and Vancouver.
  • CIRA has committed to a full annual privacy audit, conducted by a third-party auditor, to ensure adherence to the highest standards of data privacy.

Executive quotes
The internet is proving to be a critical lifeline for Canada during this unprecedented situation. Unfortunately, as Canadians shift to working and learning from home, cyber-criminals are shifting as well. With CIRA Canadian Shield, we are helping to protect Canadians from bad actors who are using this crisis to exploit unprotected personal devices and home networks. We are proud to bring this free service to Canadians in a time of need.

      –     Dave Chiswell, vice president, product, Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Only CIRA could launch a service like Canadian Shield. As a non-profit with no interest in monetizing user data, we were able to bring together a group of great partners who are committed to protecting Canadians online–including the first-ever national deployment of DNS over HTTPS globally. This will provide all Canadians and their families with the kind of online protection typically reserved for large institutions.

      –     Jaques Latour, chief technology officer, Canadian Internet Registration Authority

Thanks to our work defending Government of Canada systems against cyber attacks, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security possesses a unique perspective on the Canadian cyber threat landscape. By sharing our cyber threat intelligence with service providers such as CIRA, we are contributing to a made-in-Canada initiative that will raise the cyber security bar for all Canadians.

      –     Scott Jones, Head, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

We’re pleased that CIRA is using Akamai’s threat intelligence products to help bolster the security postures of millions of Canadian consumers. This includes the implementation of a mobile app designed to work with Akamai’s Security and Personalization Services. CIRA continues to be a leader in offering innovative ways to protect individuals and families when they access the internet.

      –     Jonathan Morgan, Vice President, Product Management & Operations, Akamai

Additional resources

About the Canadian Internet Registration Authority
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) manages the .CA top-level domain on behalf of all Canadians. CIRA also develops technologies and services—such as D-Zone DNS Firewall—that help support its goal of building a better online Canada. The CIRA team operates one of the fastest-growing country code top-level domains (ccTLD), a high-performance global DNS network, and one of the world’s most advanced back-end registry solutions.

Media contact
Spencer Callaghan
Communications Manager, CIRA
spencer.callaghan@cira.ca
(613) 316-2397