U of G launches the Canada Cyber Foundry to Eliminate Cyber Poverty by 2030
Canada's CyberFoundry will drive Cybersecurity Research, Training, and Enterprise Incubation
The University of Guelph takes a groundbreaking step in addressing the escalating global cybersecurity challenges, including cyber poverty, by announcing the establishment of the Canada Cyber Foundry (CCF). Rooted in the School of Computer Science, this cutting-edge institute will serve as a beacon of excellence, focusing on cybersecurity research, education, and support for businesses and startups.
Over the past decade, the global landscape has witnessed a significant escalation in cyber-attacks, marking a concerning trend that underscores the evolving nature of cyber threats. The proliferation of interconnected technologies, the rapid digitization of various sectors, and the increasing sophistication of malicious actors have collectively contributed to the rise in cyber-attacks.
Director of the CCF, Dr. Ali Dehghantanha is increasingly concerned, “Threat vectors such as ransomware, phishing, and advanced persistent threats have become more pervasive, targeting individuals, businesses, and critical infrastructure alike.” Combined with nation-states, criminal organizations, and hacktivists who continue to exploit vulnerabilities in software, networks, and human behavior, posing a substantial challenge to cybersecurity efforts worldwide.
The CCF responds to these challenges by bridging the cybersecurity skills gap, offering essential training, and providing support to businesses. Its unique positioning at the University of Guelph allows it to drive research, foster innovation, and empower industry, aligning with Canada's National Cybersecurity Strategy.
As organizations and individuals increasingly rely on digital platforms, the need for robust cybersecurity measures, international collaboration, and proactive defense strategies has become paramount in mitigating the impact of this growing menace. The coming years will likely witness an intensified focus on cybersecurity to safeguard against these evolving and persistent cyber threats.
Director of the CCF, Dr. Ali Dehghantanha shares “Step into the future with the Canada Cyber Foundry—a game-changer in our mission to boost cybersecurity nationwide! We're here to fuel businesses, champion startups, and drive cutting-edge research that transforms the cybersecurity scene.”
1. Industry-Inspired Research: The CCF will collaborate closely with industry partners to identify and combat current and emerging cybersecurity threats. This will involve innovative solutions and real-world testing, ensuring the research remains practical and relevant.
2. Education and Training: The CCF will provide professional training, including corporate training, to address the shortage of qualified cybersecurity experts. Programs will be tailored for those working in the field and professionals with cybersecurity responsibilities in various sectors.
3. Business Accelerator and Support: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will receive cost-effective cybersecurity consulting services, including achieving Cybersecure Canada certification. Start-ups will benefit from mentorship, access to resources, and support for developing cybersecurity products and services.
4. Commercialization and Non-Profit Cyber Consultancy: The CCF aims to foster innovation in cybersecurity by supporting entrepreneurs, start-ups, and SMEs in developing and commercializing cybersecurity products and services. It will be a hub for nurturing intellectual property and cybersecurity talent in Canada.
In 2019, the University of Guelph introduced the Masters of Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence (MCTI) program, the first of its kind in Canada. However, the demand for cybersecurity professionals in Canada far outpaces the capacity of this program. Recognizing the urgent need for comprehensive solutions, the University is launching the Canada Cyber Foundry.
The CCF embodies a visionary philosophy where the interests of businesses and the community directly shape academic and research endeavors. By committing to eliminating Cyber Poverty by 2030, the CCF acknowledges the need for a holistic approach to cybersecurity, encompassing not only technical skills but also cyber entrepreneurship and governance to help corporations and SMEs meet their cybersecurity challenges. The CCF is poised to become a global leader in cybersecurity research, training, and support. It promises to address the pressing needs of Canadian businesses and society in the face of evolving cyber threats.