29 November 2018 | by Jennifer McNeil-Haddad


#CyberTour2018 Connects Threat, Opportunity and Resources for SMEs

#CyberTour2018 hit the road last week in hopes of educating Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) on the cybersecurity resources available for New Brunswick businesses. A collaborative effort from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Canada Business Network (CBN), Bulletproof, UNB’s Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC), and CyberNB’s Cyber Essentials Canada, the tour successfully spread the word in four strategic locations in as many days.

ACOA Highlights Cybersecurity Resources

Hugh Hicks, Manager of Strategic Projects with ACOA, co-organized the sessions and served on the assembled panel of experts in Fredericton and Bathurst. As detailed in a news release, Cybersecurity Workshops Increase Awareness on Critical Issues for Businesses and Individuals, Hicks’s team spoke about funding opportunities and programs to help SMEs secure their digital assets.  He said he was pleased with the level of engagement from #CyberTour2018 participants.

“Our goal with these cybersecurity sessions was to bring the business community together with cybersecurity experts to network, share best practices, and learn how we can support each other.”

The collaborative approach to offering the workshops across the province aligns well with the national strategy, “to raise awareness of the risks among SMEs, and encourage and support them in implementing measures and strategies to both protect against and respond to threats, because it really is a matter of when, not if, they will be attacked,” Hicks added.

As a follow-on to the tour, ACOA and CyberNB will partner to offer funding options for New Brunswick SMEs who wish to become Cyber Essentials Canada certified in order to help them respond to competitive pressure, new acts and regulations, or export-related pressure.

Bulletproof helps navigate the Cyber Essentials Canada Roadmap

Jeff Shaw of Bulletproof took some time after the Fredericton #CyberTour2018 session to discuss how Bulletproof and Cyber Essentials Canada can help SME’s decision makers improve their quality of sleep. As Accredited Cyber Essentials Canada Practitioners, Bulletproof helps decision makers navigate the technical aspects of the certification process.

“We help identify the gaps, taking the client through that flow – starting with a gap assessment. Then we look at what can be done to close those gaps ‘programmatically’ – equipment, software, process.”

To help business owners better understand their options, the collaboration of organizers set out to tell the story of what all that really means for their business.

“We wanted to take them on a journey, beginning with ‘here are all the threats’, here’s some financial support available for you, and here’s ultimately what that means as far as implementing effective security.”

Cybersecurity Students Surprise

Shaw also shared some of his own takeaways, noting the high level of student representation – particularly at the Moncton session.

“I think it’s really great to see the next generation of cybersecurity professionals interested. With New Brunswick as a cybersecurity ecosystem, onboarding talent is going to become very competitive but we are laying the groundwork, here.”

Joey O’Dell, a Career Services Advisor at Oulton College was responsible for some of those student numbers, having brought a group of students from Oulton’s s Systems Management and Cybersecurity Program to a #CyberTour2018 session. O’Dell says his students were impressed with the variety of speakers, all involved in the cybersecurity industry but involved in different ways.

Perhaps one of the best indicators of the initiative’s success is that ultimately what impressed the students the most was the career potential. “Students really enjoyed hearing that there is a huge talent shortage in the industry, it really reassured them they are in the right education sector,” O’Dell wrote.

Learn more about Cyber Essentials Certification in Canada, check out the new website at CyberEssentialsCanada.ca.

Cyber Essentials Canada



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