Police IT system security improved, but more needed
March 28, 2017
VICTORIA – Auditor General Carol Bellringer released a report today on B.C.’s police IT system, PRIME-BC System – A Security Audit.
Bellringer’s office first audited PRIME-BC in 2013, but did not release a public report due to the sensitive nature of its findings. Today’s report is the result of a second full audit of the system. While there have been significant improvements, today’s results show there are still some security weaknesses in the system.
“The Auditor General Act requires that we publicly report on the findings of our audits, but we’re issuing a short report because we do not disclose findings that could put IT systems at risk,” said Bellringer. “It is not our intention to provide a road map that could compromise the system.”
PRIMECorp, an organization that exists solely to manage the PRIME-BC system, has made progress implementing the office’s 2013 recommendations, thereby reducing the risk that the system could be breached. For instance, PRIME-BC has good controls to protect against external Internet attacks, but is still working to strengthen internal security.
Today’s report makes only one recommendation aimed at making sure that the police IT system is protected with multiple layers of security. Bellringer emphasizes, “It’s important that the PRIMECorp board of directors ensure management implements the recommendations we provided in our detailed management report.”
The PRIME-BC system serves police agencies throughout the province, and is accessible in real time to every police officer in British Columbia. The system contains sensitive data on police investigations, criminal records, victims and more, and even connects to other police IT systems in Canada.
PRIME-BC records occurrences from the first point of contact with police, including 911 calls, through to the completion of investigations and reports.
The full report is available on the Office of the Auditor General website: www.bcauditor.com
About the Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia The Auditor General is a non-partisan, independent Officer of the Legislature who reports directly to the Legislative Assembly. The Auditor General Act empowers the Auditor General and staff to conduct audits, report findings and make recommendations.
Contact us: To speak to the Auditor General, call Elaine Hepburn: 250 419-6108 For general questions, call Colleen Rose, Manager, Communications: 250 419-6207