The Canadian government could try harder in matters of cyber security, according to a report ranking countries on their security stance.

Canada received a mediocre ranking in the report, which was co-produced by McAfee and the Security Defence Agenda (SDA), a Brussels-based security think tank. It received just 3.5 of a possible five stars, in spite of a much-publicized cyber security strategy.

“Canada has interesting expertise, but those capabilities are not reflected in government," said Rafal Rohozinski, director of the SecDev Group, a company aligned with the Citizen Lab, a policy unit within the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.

Although the Canadian government launched a cyber security strategy in Oct.2010, and also organised a Cyber Security Awareness Month a year later, Rohozinski remains unimpressed. The government has “eviscerated" the Canadian cyber security program to save money, he said.

Canada has suffered from several high-profile attacks, including attacks, allegedly from China, on the Finance Department and Treasury Board, which forced the two centres offline a year ago.

Both Canada and the United States ranked behind smaller countries, such as Israel, Sweden and Finland, in the rankings, which assessed 23 countries overall.

According to the report, 45 percent of respondents believe that cyber security is as important as border security, which is an area in which Canada has signed an agreement with the United States. The two countries will be sharing cross-border information about Canadian citizens in a move that has angered and worried citizens' rights groups.