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Canada Revenue Agency
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Internet security concerns

The concerns related to Internet security are:

  • Confidentiality - Sensitive information sent over the Internet is to be kept private, and only the person the information was sent to can read it. No one else can read the messages to view your personal information. Using encryption is an effective way to keep information confidential.
  • Authenticity - Those participating in a transaction over the Internet must be able to prove they are who they claim to be. We must be able to verify the identity of each participant to avoid fraud. This can be done by using passwords, digital certificates, digital signatures or shared secrets (information only you and CRA know).
  • Non-repudiation - Participants cannot complete a transaction over the Internet and later deny it happened. Digital signatures can be used for this purpose.
  • Integrity - Integrity implies that the information sent over the Internet or accessible on the Internet cannot be altered. In the case of a message sent over the Internet, the content of the message received must be the same as the content of the message sent, with no changes made. Digital signatures can prove data integrity by detecting changes. In the case of information such as stored data available on Internet connected computers (such as your personal computer), precautions must be taken to prevent anyone from making unauthorized deletions or changes. Safety measures include anti-virus software and encryption. Data backups can be used to restore data in cases where stored information is damaged.
  • Access control - Only authorized people can access the information, computer, and network. Firewalls, access rights, passwords, and authorization certificates are tools used to control access.
  • Availability - When information or a service is needed, it can be accessed reliably. Information sent over the Internet must have dependable channels and equipment that stores data, and that are operational when needed. Computer equipment must be physically protected from harm but also protected from power outages, system failures, and overloads. Steps that ensure availability include monitoring, data backups, anti-virus software, and adequate computer resources. CRA endeavours to maintain a very high level of availability for the services it offers.