Ottawa unveils plans to bolster defences against online attacks and cybercrime

The federal government has unveiled its plan to bolster Canada's defences against nefarious online attacks and cybercrime.

But it's also acknowledging a shortage of skilled cyber-warriors to meet the country's needs.

Backstopped by more than 500-million dollars in new funding over the next five years, Ottawa's newly released cybersecurity strategy lays out a range of initiatives.

It comes as the internet and digital technology play an increasingly important role in every aspect of life, with a corresponding rise in risk.

The RCMP says police services across the country received 24 thousand reports of cybercrimes in 2016, which represented a 58 per cent increase over the previous two years.

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference on Parliament Hill that Canada must substantially strengthen cybersecurity capabilities.

To that end, the Mounties will add new cyber-investigators, and become the main focal point for police across the country to report illegal activity online.