#CyberFLASH: Forum to focus on cybersecurity needs in US and Canada

GettyImages-556421117BOSTON – Cybersecurity experts are planning to hold a forum on ways the United States and Canada can toughen their online defences.

The discussion will focus on the growing number of lone wolf and foreign government-sponsored cyber-attacks that harm national security and commerce in both countries.

Thursday’s event is sponsored by The New England-Canada Business Council and will include a discussion of strategies needed to stem the tide of cyber-attacks — particularly those by crime syndicates, rogue nations, terrorist groups and individual hackers.

Organizers of the forum say the attacks disrupt the free exchange of information on the Internet and undermine business transactions.

One of the biggest cyber thefts on record was by an Eastern European crime organization that investigators say raked in $300 million from stolen credit card numbers.

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#CyberFLASH: Experts to Discuss Cybersecurity for Consumers, Major Data Breaches, and More

serene-risc-11_1OTTAWA – As part of the biannual workshop program, the Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) is offering an impressive list of presentations from world-renowned experts who will address several pressing cybersecurity concerns, such as:

  • Securing the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Cybersecurity for consumers
  • Critical infrastructure protection
  • Real-life data breaches
  • Alternative training approaches to tackle the cybersecurity talent shortage
  • Emerging trends in cybercrime

Date: Wednesday, October 28 & Thursday, October 29
Time: 8:00 AM to 5:30PM (Wednesday) & 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM (Thursday)
Location: Canadian Museum of Nature
                   240 McLeod Street, Ottawa

Members of the media are invited to attend the presentations. Please contact SERENE-RISC if you would like to attend the event or schedule an interview with a speaker or a SERENE-RISC director.

Interview Opportunities:

Benoit Dupont (Université de Montréal)
SERENE’s Scientific Director and Canada Research Chair in Security, Identity and Technology

Sonia Chiasson (Carleton University)
SERENE’s Deputy Scientific Director and Canada Research Chair in Human Oriented Computer Security

Workshop speakers may also be available on a case-by-case basis.


The Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) is a knowledge mobilization network created to improve the general public’s awareness of cybersecurity risks and to empower all to reduce those risks through knowledge.

SERENE-RISC brings together academics in the fields of computer and social sciences, as well as public and private partners, to mobilize the growing knowledge about online risks and to promote the most effective strategies and minimize the consequences of cyber attacks.

SERENE-RISC partners include 26 academics from 14 universities across Canada, public and private sector members, and not-for-profit organizations. The Network is funded by Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada (NCE) and is hosted by Université de Montréal.

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#CyberFLASH: Cybersecurity in spotlight at GTEC 2015 conference

articleIn the shadow of the federal election, more than 4,000 people are expected to converge on the Shaw Centre for the GTEC conference and exhibition this week.

“GTEC is an absolutely appropriate forum for government and industry to come together,” executive director Michele Lajeunesse said in a recent interview with OBJ.

Monday’s pre-conference is featuring forums on cybersecurity and leadership as well as an invitation-only executive roundtable.

The following two days will see a number of keynote addresses from Hathaway Global Strategies President Melissa Hathaway, Shared Services Canada COO John Glowacki and Salesforce executive vice-president Vivek Kundra.

Ms. Hathaway will discuss how the Internet and information communications technology – and the lack of stakeholders’ trust in both – is changing the security landscape.

Mr. Glowacki will discuss how Shared Services Canadais developing a structure in which a dedicated part of the organization is responsible for the entire lifecycle of the services it provides, helping the agency change how it does business with its partners and industry.

Mr. Kundra, a former chief information officer for the United States government, will speak on the rise of the “connected” government.

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#CyberFLASH: Hackers invade the Ottawa River

1297701227677_ORIGINALFor years raw sewage has been dumped unceremoniously into the Ottawa River.

And it seemed like no one really cared.

In truth, not everyone really even understood what was happening — or the severity of the situation.

Thankfully, that has changed.

By now, most everyone is aware of sewage seeping into the river and that something needs to be done about.

What was once widely ignored, now is getting some of the attention it deserves.

The political leaders in Ottawa and on the other side of the river in Quebec are all now painfully aware of the expensive — and incredibly complicated issues with keeping the river clean.

Of course, none of the issues are new to the Ottawa Riverkeeper — a group that has been working against the tide for years — trying to get all interested parties more aware of the problems and working toward dealing with them.

And that means more than just raw sewage, it’s plastic, it’s chemicals, and it’s still sewage.

Enter Aquahacking, part of a two-day event at the end of this month aimed at coming up with innovative ways to improve the river — and raise awareness of the issues.

Over the years, hackathons have gone on for 24 to 48 hour periods in a variety of fields. In the health-care system, for example, teams of doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners seek out technical solutions together.

In Canada, it’s never been done where the focus is on water and water protection.

On May 29 and 30, a two-day session is being held — with May 30 dedicated to the aquahacking.

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#CyberFLASH: Cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari lauds ‘good hackers’ at Halifax conference

cra-passwords-security_211076204-e1402005190177Not all hackers are bad guys and, in fact, the outlaws of the technology world are a huge help when it comes to fixing problems, a cybersecurity expert says.

“There are actually a lot of good hackers out there that are revealing vulnerabilities and bugs in technology that we all rely on,” Keren Elazari told CBC’s Mainstreet.

Elazari, who studies cyber-conflict and politics at Tel Aviv University, was the opening keynote speaker at the Atlantic Security Conference in Halifax on Thursday.

Sometimes the work hackers do is the only reason companies know about issues with their technologies, she said.

There are examples in many industries, including medical device manufacturers, the auto industry and the online world. Even companies as big as Google pay hackers a “bug bounty” for the weaknesses they find, said Elazari.

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#CyberFLASH: Cyber Security and Insider Threat Conference: effective strategies for defending your data and organization

10712553OTTAWA –  The last few years have seen numerous headlines on security breaches across the private and public sectors. Such high profile examples include the data breach at Target that compromised the private information of millions of customers, the Heartbleed bug that called into question the security of systems around the world, the recent case of Chinese hackers infiltrating National Research Canada computers and, most notably, a single contractor named Edward Snowden who removed huge amounts of classified data from the NSA.

As organizations increasingly rely on data and information technology, they also risk becoming more vulnerable to internal and external attack. The combination of insider threats and the ability to easily access and move large quantities of information in today’s highly networked environments, increases the consequences exponentially.

This event will address the latest thinking and practice in cyber security and managing insider threats to help organizations build a more comprehensive defense against attack and damage from inside and outside the organization.

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#CyberFLASH: Federal government uses CODE2015 to boost open data’s profile in Canada

CODE-2015_featureThe federal government kicked off its promotion of an open data hackathon in Toronto on Wednesday night, encouraging people to use publicly available data provided by government departments to build new apps.

Now in its second year, the Canadian Open Data Experience (CODE) hackathon is targeted towards students, entrepreneurs, programmers, developers, and graphic designers. Participants will have two days to come up with a creative mobile app using open data sets provided by the federal government, with an eye to helping youth, commerce, or to improving quality of life. The contest kicks off Feb. 20 and runs until Feb. 22, coinciding with International Open Data Day on Feb. 21.

Last year, more than 900 participants competed in the hackathon, so the organizers are hoping for an even bigger turnout this time around. But more importantly, they’re trying to highlight what people can do with open data, said Ray Sharma, founder of Toronto’s XMG Studio Inc. and one of the main organizers of CODE2015.

“Every government agency, we’re talking fisheries, we’re talking defense, we’re talking immigration, we’re talking StatsCan, every regulatory body – can you imagine the data that exists?… Do you see why that’s exciting?” Sharma said, adding there’s a vein of untapped potential in all of that data. He’s especially excited about the prospect of bringing research publications online.

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#CyberFLASH: Cybersecurity Professionals and Academics Meet in Ottawa to Address the Latest Online Threats

leaked_data_focus_455234During Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) is hosting more than 130 participants at its second biannual workshop in Ottawa. Featuring internationally renowned experts from Canada, the United States and Europe, the program will address some of the latest findings on online risks.

The speakers will present on a variety of topics including global cybercrime, the work of the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre, cybersurveillance landscape, information and security research, as well as data breach and underground markets. 

The two-day event, Cybersecurity metrics for better decision-making: a Canadian perspective, will help governments, companies and civil society to access reliable data that would allow them to understand the nature and scope of relevant cybersecurity problems, critical information for effective decision-making.

Date: Tuesday, October 21 & Wednesday, October 22
Time: 12:00 PM to 5:30PM (Tuesday) & 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Wednesday)
Location: Ottawa Convention Centre
55 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa

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