Two Canadian business groups raise awareness about cybersecurity


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Two of the country’s largest business groups are taking steps to educate the private sector about cybersecurity issues.

the Business Council of Canada this week, became an affiliate member of the Canadian Cyber ​​Threat Exchange (CCTX), a nonprofit threat sharing hub, after serving as a non-voting advisor to its board since 2015.

Meanwhile the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced late last month its partnership with several technology companies as part of a campaign to educate the private sector about cybersecurity and “bring solutions to government to enable Canada to lead the future of cybersecurity world ”.

For the past six years, the Business Council, which represents many of the country’s largest companies, has played a secondary role in CCTX.

The board helped create the exchange and had a non-voting seat on its board as an advisor. Now he is playing a bigger role by becoming an affiliate member of the exchange.

Affiliates do not pay an annual membership fee, cannot participate in the Exchange Collaboration Center or have the right to vote at members’ meetings.

“Possibility of raising the problem”

But becoming a member “is a great opportunity for the council to elevate the issue of cybersecurity into public discourse, as well as among decision-makers in Ottawa,” said Trevor Neiman, director of policy and legal counsel for the council, at the meeting. a meeting. “This is an extremely important issue for our members, extremely important for Canadians.

“It is up to (companies) to work with each other, to share information securely about potential threats and strategies,” he said. “Companies often have competitive strengths that prevent them from working collaboratively, but organizations like CTTX can help them overcome these challenges by taking a business-to-business approach that includes large and small businesses.

“The Business Council’s strategy is to use its influence to show policymakers and businesses the successes we’ve had through information sharing, and try to encourage businesses to do their duty and to collaborate as well.

“The business community understands the importance of the problem because they experience it first-hand,” said Neiman, “but unfortunately maybe policymakers in Ottawa, the general public, sometimes have a hard time understanding what a cyberattack means in practical terms. For a consumer it can mean extortion, it can mean identity fraud. Most of the infrastructure attacked belongs to the private sector. The government does not always have an idea of ​​what is going on. Part of our goal as an advocacy organization, what we can bring to CCTX, is to raise the talk, to draw attention to the importance of this issue to push for changes that will help. to better defend Canadians and Canadian businesses.

When it was noted that the federal government has invested a lot of money in Canadian Center for Cyber ​​Security, who advises both the private and public sectors, Neiman recognized Ottawa’s role.

He cited with approval the government’s work in creating the young Cyber ​​security innovation network, an effort to form links between post-secondary institutions and businesses to enhance cybersecurity research and skills development.

More of this kind of collaboration between the private and public sectors is needed, he said.

The exchange has around 180 members who pay annual dues depending on the number of employees. Organizations can be full, associate or affiliate members. While full members have the option to sit on the board and vote at member meetings, full and associate members participate in the private collaboration center and get reports. For an additional fee, they obtain threat intelligence data using the STIX and TAXII protocols.

Jennifer Quaid, COO of the exchange, said the board’s decision “further solidifies our relationship with them … By going through all the steps to become an Affiliate Member, it shows their confidence in the work we do and recognition. that organizations of all sizes should participate in threat sharing and collaboration. It is one of the best forms of [cyber] defense. And it sends a message to their members that they [the council] take cybersecurity seriously.

Chamber of Commerce campaign

The Chamber of Commerce launches its new public campaign Cyber. Right. Now. It is supported by BlackBerry, Microsoft and Cisco Systems.

“Investing in cybersecurity is critical to boosting the productivity and efficiency of the Canadian economy,” the chamber’s campaign website states. “With privacy and data protection essential in our modern economy where Canadians frequently access digital services, the risks are at an all-time high. Canadians deserve strong protections to ensure the security of their personal data.

“Canadians should be proud that our country has a strong cybersecurity base, with a number of important global companies making Canada their home. While the recently released 2021 federal budget made significant investments in cybersecurity to secure the government’s IT infrastructure, it made no specific commitments to help Canadian businesses strengthen their cybersecurity measures. At the same time, our most direct competitors in the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom are investing billions. “

The 2021 federal budget provided funds for SMEs to invest in digital, he adds. “This is a clear message that investments in cybersecurity must go hand in hand with investments in modernization of IT and other digital technologies. “

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