The Government of Canada today announced plans to invest $155 million over five years to improve the cyber security of its IT infrastructure and to improve its detection of and response to cyber threats.

"The money is in addition to funds announced in 2010 to support the country’s cyber security strategy: $90 million spread out over five years and $18 million ongoing," National Post reports.

"The money announced Wednesday ... comes ahead of an auditor general's report assessing whether federal organizations are doing enough to protect itself against cyber threats," writes The Canadian Press' Stephanie Levitz. "Last year, hackers managed to force the Finance and Treasury Board departments offline after an employee clicked on a link in an email that allowed outsiders to infiltrate government systems."

"The government noted that part of the investment to protect, secure, and improve the existing infrastructure will be spent on the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC), which shares the responsibility for Internet security measures and support," writes Digital Home's Cliff Boodoosingh. "Analysis from Websense indicates that Canada has experienced a 39 percent increase in botnets, and a whopping 239 percent increase in malicious websites over the past year. Furthermore, Websense reports that Canada is now the number two country for hosting phishing sites."

"Canadians and Canadian businesses want to know that the private information they entrust to government will stay private," Minster of Public Safety Vic Toews said in a statement. "Today’s announcement further secures government systems that deliver services to all Canadians and complements additional efforts under Canada’s Cyber Security Strategy to protect Canadians from cyber threats. Our Government is continuously working to enhance cyber security in Canada by identifying cyber threats and vulnerabilities, and by preparing for and responding to all kinds of cyber incidents to better protect Canada and Canadians."