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Police are seen in Victoria on May 24, 2016. (CHAD HIPOLITO For The Globe and Mail)
Police are seen in Victoria on May 24, 2016. (CHAD HIPOLITO For The Globe and Mail)

B.C. audit finds vulnerable police data system should be strengthened Add to ...

A second audit of British Columbia’s police records management system has found sensitive data involving investigations should be more securely protected.

Auditor general Carol Bellringer said Tuesday that her initial audit in 2013 showed the system could be breached but improvements have been made to protect against external attacks initiated through the Internet.

She said a public report was not issued then to prevent compromising the system, though the latest audit completed in 2016 showed security risks that could be initiated from within PRIMECorp, the organization that manages the system.

“We found areas for improvement and have made additional recommendations in a detailed management report,” she said in a summary report that does not provide details about information that could be breached.

“It’s not our intention to provide a road map that could compromise the system,” she said of PRIME-BC, the Police Records Information Management Environment system.

It is used by 911 operators and officers in their vehicles to access records about victims and criminals, and to respond to emergency calls.

Bellringer made one recommendation in a public report she released Tuesday, saying directors of PRIMECorp should implement all the recommendations because the system remains vulnerable.

PRIME-BC allows municipal police agencies and the RCMP across the province to exchange information and is connected to other police systems across Canada.

PRIMECorp said in a response that it will regularly monitor the implementation of Bellringer’s remaining recommendations and anticipated the work will be completed by the end of the year.

“We understand that there are further enhancements required in order to detect and prevent potential cyberattacks launched from within the internal network,” it said.

“PRIMECorp understands the special role it plays in maintaining the security of that information for both public safety and officer safety.”

The organization is overseen by a 10-member board of directors and is chaired by the director of police services from the Public Safety Ministry.

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