20 November 2018 | by Tyson Johnson


CyberNB COO: New Brunswick is Focused on Strategic Collaboration

It’s been almost a year since my wife and I made our move back to her roots in New Brunswick – having attended university here it was like coming home for me too. Since joining CyberNB, I’ve had incredible opportunities to learn from an amazing team of professionals.  I am also fortunate to lead and share our mission both inside and outside of this humble province.

In October 2018, the Standing Senate Committee Report on Banking, Trade and Commerce spoke about their report Cyber Assault: It should keep you up at night at a press conference at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Several members of my team attended and read the report. The information gathered therein should serve as a call-to-Canadian cybersecurity action – a dinner bell drawing everyone to the table to benefit from collective intelligence coordinated to protect individual citizens, critical infrastructure and our economy from bad actors around the globe.

The report is one of many indirectly validating CyberNB’s ongoing and progressive efforts to collaborate across sectors. By creating Canada’s first comprehensive provincial cybersecurity strategy, CyberNB continues to support the growth of an ecosystem and support the direction in which the country is headed. It’s hard for me to disguise how proud I am to have had the opportunity to lead this team in its dedication to promote best practices, Security by Design, collaboration across sectors with all levels of government, and foster an environment aligned to Cybersecurity workforce development.

There is a great deal of excitement around what we are doing with regards to cybersecurity in New Brunswick. So, what’s generating this level of excitement?

Focus on strategic priorities

Critical Infrastructure Protection remains at the ‘Commanding Heights’ of cybersecurity.  The ability for a nation to ensure citizens’ access to banking, power supply, telecommunications, supply of food, water, and security of mass transportation is a daily concern.  For industry, the ability to supply these critical services to its customers, ensure profitability and operational efficiency requires strong cybersecurity capabilities.  Moreover, the interoperability of key infrastructure across sovereign borders adds the challenge of increased requirements for collaboration and information sharing across government and  industry.  CyberNB is serious about its role in coordinating this collaboration to ensure our ecosystem partners can develop, grow and improve cybersecurity capabilities.  In New Brunswick, the alignment with key initiatives such as Smart Grid, Digital Health, Financial Services, Defense and Cannabis (food safety) is acting as a force-multiplier to attract and grow business across the province.

Demonstrable results

CyberNB has successfully collaborated on several innovative projects. Examples of cyber success are to be found in the innovative technology of home grown companies like Beauceron Security, the award-winning Kognitiv Spark, Bulletproof, Mariner, as well as multinationals based here, including Siemens and IBM.

Notable Milestones

  • This past summer we spoke with John Reid, CEO of CATA, about CyberNB’s four strategic priorities: Skills and Workforce Development, Growth and Commercialization, Trust and Compliance – touching on topics of skills development, Cyber Essentials Canada, global efforts to define best practice for Safe Innovation, and Security by Design.
  • Cyber Essentials Canada launched a new website to better serve new and existing clients, marking a point of maturity for a solution our team sourced and ported to Canada to help SMEs and supply chains mitigate cyber-risk. (Our cyber baby is growing up!)
  • Incredible results in skills for youth in cybersecurity via the National CyberTitan Program. New Brunswick had 54% of the teams in Canada and Fredericton’s Nashwaaksis Middle School was the only middle school to make the Nationals.
  • A new $37-million state-of-the-art building broke ground in 2018 and will be added to our cybersecurity infrastructure in Fredericton’s Knowledge Park. This is a secure facility specifically designed to foster R&D, collaboration and cyber system innovations.
  • May 2018 saw both Siemens Canada and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) announce new cybersecurity operations in Fredericton.
  • Our CyberSmart Summit is the only annual Cybersecurity Skills and Workforce Development Summit focused on youth, post-secondary and professional development  in North America. This year’s Summit drew delegates and experts from around the world to join discussions on the roles of academia, government, and industry in creating the talent pipeline to fill well-paying cybersecurity jobs.
  • In collaboration with CATA Alliance and the Canadian Police Chiefs Association, we were proud hosts of the 3rd International Policing Cyber Crime Summit (#IPCS2018).

Coming up:

  • In co-sponsoring #CyberTour2018 (November 19-23), we have partnered with ACOA, Bulletproof, CIC-UNB and Canada Business Network to share information, resources and funding opportunities available to businesses of all sizes to be proactive in creating more secure and resilient cyber-systems.
  • We are teaming with Kognitiv Spark and the Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) to host a Cybersocial – Thursday, November 22, 2018. To register to attend, click here: Cybersocial

Whether it’s with team members, family or academic, government, and industry leaders, there is value added when we gather to strategically explore and address the business of the day.

At CyberNB, bringing everyone to the same table is what we do.

Contact Us

Further Reading:

Timed with Cybersecurity Awareness Month (CSAM) in October, CyberNB’s leadership team put words to the various initiatives we have going on in our Thought Leadership series.

CyberNB is a Special Operating Agency of Opportunities NB.



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