GN taking over Qulliq Energy Corp.’s IT system in wake of cyberattack

Energy corporation’s IT system needs ‘significant’ modernization, says minister

The GN will take over Qulliq Energy Corp.’s IT system following a cyberattack on the energy corporation in January. (File photo)

By Madalyn Howitt

The Government of Nunavut is taking over Qulliq Energy Corp.’s information technology system.

The transition, announced by Premier P.J. Akeeagok in the legislature earlier this month, was prompted by a cyberattack, which hit the corporation Jan. 15.

It shut down access to critical data and applications like email, project files, procurement, payroll, accounts receivables and payables, and client information.

In March, Bill Nippard, vice-president of operations and engineering said there was no evidence that customer data was compromised in the attack, although an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The severity of the cyberattack prompted the GN to transition Qulliq’s IT system to its own network on a permanent basis, Akeeagok said.

“QEC’s ongoing IT needs are significant,” he said in the legislative assembly.

Community and Government Services Minister David Joanasie said in the legislature that the corporation’s information technology infrastructure requires “significant modernization and transformation due to deficits in various areas, such as switches, servers, storage, and bandwidth.”

“These deficiencies pose a risk to Qulliq Energy Corporation operations,” he said, adding that Community and Government Services’ IT department manages an average of 7,097 threats per day.

Tina Nleya, director of corporate affairs for QEC, said allowing the GN to take over the corporation’s IT operations was the “best solution” to defend against future attacks.

“The GN has already made significant investments in its IT infrastructure that helps improve and support critical services for our communities, and its modernized systems have the capacity to accommodate QEC,” Nleya said.

“This collaboration between QEC and GN is the most effective and affordable option to protect operations and customer data.”

There will be no increased costs for QEC customers as a result of the transition, Nleya said.

Joanasie said the transition of QEC network operations to his department will include a thorough analysis of organizational design, housing, unions and location of positions.

“The need for robust network security is genuine and continuously growing and the potential cost of cyberattacks cannot be underestimated,” he said.

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(7) Comments:

  1. Posted by Name Withheld on

    The QEC is and has been in deficit for few years now to a point where they borrow funds from the GN to keep the operation going. I can understand it is a corporation, but let’s get real you don’t need to be paying high amount of salary, continue to have employee’s earn OT when it’s not necessary, provide taxi vouchers to employees from home-work-home, hiring old employees as consultants, the list goes on… Nepotism within QEC needs to be stopped!!

    Dept of HR needs to get more involved with QEC hiring practice.

    • Posted by How it looks from here on

      Sounds like stuff the Minister should be looking at.

    • Posted by Curious on

      Would be interesting to know how much they are owed in arrears from non paid bills

    • Posted by What dept? on

      The GN dept of HR hardly has its own business together, doubt it would help to take on more. They need more workers with education or training, it’s just a red tape mess – working in silos

  2. Posted by Canary in the coal mine on

    Yet some people seem to think one day we’ll see devolution

  3. Posted by Truth Tellers Back on

    Hate to say it but needs to be done, dumb and dumber you can pick which is which..
    When they say the GN will step in that means they will just tender all new computers and ship them to Ottawa to be astronomical prices. Genius..

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