#CyberFLASH: New Brunswick launches strategy to become a world leader in cybersecurity

cpt107339096-high-jpgFREDERICTON – Premier Brian Gallant says New Brunswick is the first province in the country to develop a comprehensive strategy on cybersecurity and cyber innovation.

Gallant made the announcement at the University of New Brunswick where he launched CyberNB — a strategy to create jobs and revenues in the various fields of cyber technology.

Cybersecurity expert Allen Dillon has been hired to head CyberNB.

He says the pace of technology has outpaced security experts, and New Brunswick is well placed to be a world leader in the efforts to combat cybercrime.

Dillon says there will be approximately 192,000 information and communications technology jobs in Canada by 2020 and 67,000 of them will be in cybersecurity.

He says the strategy will ensure the proper education and innovation programs are in place to ensure a large portion of those jobs are located in New Brunswick.

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#CyberFLASH: Three Canadian universities to help teach IBM’s Watson about cyber security

ibm-640x427Three Canadian universities are among eight institutions that will be in a year-long research project to teach IBM’s Watson cognitive computing platform how to comb through unstructured data to improve cyber security.

Starting this fall the institutions — including the University of Ottawa, the University of Waterloo and the University of New Brunswick — will work with IBM to teach Watson the nuances of security research findings and how to discover patterns and evidence of hidden cyber attacks and threats.

In making the announcement on Tuesday, Caleb Barlow, vice-president of IBM Security, said in an interview the work won’t necessarily lead to a commercial Watson for Cyber Security product. For example, Watson will work with IBM’s free X-Force threat information exchange.

“The university program is an academic initiative. Each university decides how they’re going to implement it with their students — whether it will be part of course work, extra credit — and they’re going to get a front-row seat into how we build cognitive solutions in the security realm.”

IBM sells a number of services on the Watson platform including Watson for Oncology (helps cancer specialists evaluate patient data against clinical evidence), Explorer (analyzes structured and unstructured enterprise data), Discovery Advisor (helps organizations discover relationships between disparate data they hold), and Engagement Advisor (an automated self-service solution that offers answers to customer questions).

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#CyberFLASH: How a Canadian university is overhauling its approach to IT security

GettyImages-556421117The day an organization is successfully attacked is memorable for most IT professionals. David Shipley has no trouble remembering the date of the one he faced as a Web site administrator at the University of New Brunswick.

“Mother’s Day 2012,” he promptly says when asked about the incident. The attackers didn’t get very much, but it led to the start of a four-part holistic overhaul of the university’s IT security, an effort which is half way to completion.

“By the end of this we’ll be much-better positioned to deal with the threats we face,” says Shipley, now director of strategic initiatives for the UNB’s cybersecurity team.

The four prongs include a persistent security awareness campaign for the roughly 14,000 students and staff on two campuses; a data governance program to classify all documents; an overhaul of the network and security architecture and a new IT security policy.

The network overhaul is a multi-year project which started last summer. Recently the university put out an RFI to industry vendors for designing what Shipley calls a “next-generation architecture.” He suspects first product acquisitions of what could be up to a $2 million spend will start this spring after the design is approved.

Meanwhile the security policy, which will covers UNB’s approach to protecting information and information systems and it how will respond to cyber security incidents, is in the final draft stage.

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