On April 25th, a Cybersecurity Conference was held at the Lionhead Golf Club & Conference Centre in Brampton. There were an estimated 150 businesspeople in attendance, keen to learn more about the growing Cybersecurity threat. The conference was promoted to the manufacturing sector, however, the topics covered would mostly apply to any organization.
The conference organizer was Ryerson University’s Cybersecure Catalyst: A New National Centre for Innovation and Collaboration in Cybersecurity. They describe themselves as “Based in Brampton and relentlessly industry-focused, Cybersecure Catalyst will collaborate with businesses, governments, and other educational institutions to help Canadians and Canadian businesses tackle challenges and seize opportunities in the rapidly growing cybersecurity sector.” Their Executive Director is Charles Finlay, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Speakers at the conference included area politicians, as well as keynote speakers Joris Myny, a Senior VP at Siemens Canada Limited, and Adam Hatfield, Director, Partnerships, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security. Adam is responsible for the development of effective and trusted relationships between the Cyber Centre and government, private sector, and international partners. Other notable speakers were:
- Angela Anand, Criminal Intelligence Analyst—Cybercrime, Federal Policing Criminal Operations, RCMP
- Michelle Chretian, Director, Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies, Sheridan College
- Atty Mashatan, Director of the Cybersecurity Research Lab, Ryerson University and Assistant Professor, Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management
- Wendy Young, Director of Operations for Technology, Data and Security, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
One key point that came out of this event is that these experts see no difference in the threat level for small or large organizations. Also, it’s not a matter of if your organization will be breached but rather when and how many times. Protecting your organization from cybercrime needs serious attention. The cost of business compromise in the U.S. is estimated at $10 million per day.
A good starting point is to identify your corporate assets and what cyber criminals could make money from. Then consider the risk factors for those assets and categorize them from high to low. Don’t forget to consider your entire supply chain. Your overall Cybersecurity is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain. If you have strong IT security measures in place, but one of your software vendors, who has remote access to your network does not, they could be breached, allowing access into your network. Alternatively, if your IT security is weak and you are breached, what effect could that have on your customers or business partners?
A great reference site geared to consumers and businesses, published by the Government of Canada, can be found at https://www.getcybersafe.gc.ca/. You can also find useful information at the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security’s web site https://cyber.gc.ca/ .