Edmonton Economic Development hires Deloitte to investigate phishing attack

01 February 2019 Consulting.ca

On Wednesday, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) said it has been defrauded of $375,000 by as-yet-unknown entities. The agency has brought in Deloitte to provide investigation services.

“We are working with authorities and legal counsel to determine if the funds can be recovered,” the EEDC said in a statement.

The municipal agency receives money from various sources to spur Edmonton’s economy. A common task at the EEDC is collecting money from entities like the federal and municipal governments, then funneling it to particular projects, making it a juicy target for fraudsters.

“We were notified by our bank in late 2018 that there were irregularities in a transaction and at the beginning of January, we confirmed that there was fraudulent activity and we commenced an investigation,” Terry Curtis, EEDC vice president of corporate relations, said in an interview with Global News. “I can’t give a lot of information on the phishing scheme itself because there is an ongoing investigation with the authorities as well as some third parties that we’ve invited to do some cybersecurity investigations for us.”

In addition to a cybersecurity investigation, Deloitte will also provide the EEDC recommendations for preventative measures. This sort of project is likely to be handled primarily by the firm’s forensics practice, under its Financial Crime Advisory service line. Within, Deloitte helps clients address the entire financial crime lifecycle, including compliance, prevention, detection, investigation, remediation, testing, and monitoring, drawing on experts from multiple practices (such as tech and cybersecurity).

Edmonton Economic Development hires Deloitte to investigate phishing attack

EEDC will also work with auditor Grant Thornton to dig into the details of the particular transaction to ensure it was a solitary occurrence. Curtis said the EEDC will also educate and retrain its employees to be more cyber-savvy.

The details of the phishing scam are as yet under a veil of secrecy because of the ongoing police investigation. The agency did not divulge which individual or company was impersonated by the unidentified digital fraudsters. The EEDC has, however, put in place new log-in verifications for employees who use the agency’s online systems.

"We understand the nature of the attack; we don't know where the bad actor is, who the bad actor is, how it transpired," Curtis told the CBC.

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, meanwhile, was understandably perturbed by the financial loss, calling the situation "very concerning."

"Those are public dollars in the hands of EEDC to achieve economic goals," Iveson told the CBC. "EEDC is not unique, but clearly this will need to be investigated."

As organizations and payments march towards full digitalization, the threat of cyber fraud swells - especially for those sending out large sums of money. A lack top-notch processes or properly trained staff magnifies the risk.

In 2017, MacEwan University in Edmonton was defrauded of $11.8 million after staff failed to make a verification call to a vendor after receiving fraudulent emails requesting a change in banking information. As such, the university mistakenly paid out the amount to the fraudulent account. Most of the money was recovered after being traced to accounts in Hong Kong and Montreal.


Infosys wins $80.3 million government contract to modernize procurement

26 September 2018 Consulting.ca

Infosys Public Services (IPS) has been awarded an $80.3 million contract to modernize and automate the procurement processes of Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC). IPS will be working with EY and SAP to implement and manage the cloud-based solution.

Rockville, Maryland-based Infosys Public Services (IPS) is a subsidiary of Indian business and IT consulting giant Infosys. IPS provides the North American public sector with business consulting and technology solutions, leveraging over three decades of global government experience. The firm has offices in Toronto, Canada, and Bengaluru, India, in addition to its Maryland headquarters. IPS’ parent company Infosys has a global network of 200,000 employees, and posted US$10 billion in revenues last year.

The public sector-focused consulting firm has been awarded a lucrative $80.3 million contract by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to implement and manage a cloud-based electronic procurement solution. The PSPC is a key provider of services for federal departments and agencies, acting as their central purchasing agent, property manager, treasurer, accountant, pay and pension administrator, integrity advisor, and linguistic authority.

The digital procurement system will be based on SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass, and ServiceNow software, providing a web-based portal for PSPC and its suppliers to access bilingual procurement services and information. The cloud-based platform will allow the government department to procure goods and services through a single portal – with easy access to real-time data and analytics to improve decision-making.

Infosys wins $80.3 million government contract to modernize procurement

IPS will act as the prime system integrator, implementing the SAP-based solution and setting up a support services network. Meanwhile EY Canada will design and deploy future state processes and enabling technology to support the digitalization initiative. EY will also deliver change management and training support.

If the program is successful, the federal government will decide whether to expand the procurement solution to other departments and agencies. Provincial and municipal organizations will also be offered an opt-in to the platform.

“Navigating their programs and services to a digital future requires organizations to not only identify the right technologies to implement, but also to enable them quickly and at-scale,” said Infosys Public Services CEO Eric Paternoster. “We are honored and excited to have been selected by the Government of Canada to do just this – modernize procurement systems to make it easier for the government and the suppliers to interact, transact, and better serve Canadians.”

SAP Canada Managing Director Andy Canham added, “We look forward to working with IPS in their delivery of an intelligent, collaborative platform for federal procurement to set the standard for the public sector across the country.”

PSPC will be hoping for a smoother digital transformation effort than it has experienced with the malfunctioning Phoenix pay system, which processes payrolls for federal employees. Since its launch in 2016, the digital payroll system has been plagued by problems of underpayments, over-payments, and non-payments. The system was set up by IBM using PeopleSoft software. The current estimate for fixing the program has climbed to a ridiculous $2.2 billion over a projected five years.