Communications Security Establishment releases annual public report

News release

Ottawa, June 28, 2021 - Ottawa, Ontario

The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) today released its unclassified, public Annual Report.

This past year, CSE quickly adapted to the challenges of delivering vital foreign intelligence to government decision makers and providing critical cyber security services during a global pandemic. CSE teams contributed to Canada's pandemic response on many fronts, from enabling the business of government to continue securely in a remote working environment, to protecting the health sector, the vaccine rollout, and individual Canadians from new COVID-19-related cyber threats.

Having the trust and confidence of Canadians is essential to CSE. While certain information about CSE's work and how it is done must remain classified, this report aims to shine a spotlight on what CSE does for Canada and how CSE works with federal agencies, international allies, and trusted industry partners to keep Canadians safe.


“The shift to virtual brought on by COVID-19 put CSE’s mandate right at the heart of Canada’s pandemic response, from helping government operate securely online to protecting the health sector from cyber threats. Canadians are safer because of CSE’s work.”

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan

“If CSE has a collective mindset it can be summed up in two words: innovation and teamwork. As this report shows, that combination really delivered this year, supporting the government’s pandemic response, and defending Canada and Canadians against an increase in cyber threats. I am beyond proud of the agility, resilience and technical wizardry of this extraordinary group of people.”

Shelly Bruce, Chief CSE

Quick facts

  • CSE produced 2,528 foreign intelligence reports to alert and inform officials across 28 Government of Canada departments and agencies about threats to Canada.

  • CSE’s Cyber Centre provided cyber security assistance in response to 2206 incidents affecting Government of Canada or critical infrastructure partners, including 85 cases affecting Canada’s health sector.

  • CSE’s dynamic defence capability routinely blocks between 2 and 7 billion malicious actions a day against Government of Canada networks and systems, ranging up to 10 billion on a busy day.

  • Cyber criminals continue to try to scam Canadians using fraudulent websites and e-mail addresses impersonating the Government of Canada. From February 2020 to March 2021, CSE worked with trusted commercial and international partners to take down over 7000 fraudulent domains related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Over the past year, CSE has been authorized to carry out operations to interfere with foreign adversaries in cyberspace.

  • CSE is a 24/7 operational agency, employing 3000 people.

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