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Government partners with IBM to open cybersecurity research centre at University of New Brunswick

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Cybersecurity comes front and centre in 2017 as IBM announces a partnership with provincial and federal officials to open a cybersecurity research centre at the University of New Brunswick.

The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity launched with $4.5 million in funding, as was announced at a news conference in Fredericton. The institute will train highly skilled cybersecurity professionals. IBM will be the institute’s first research and development partner.

“The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity is a culmination of more than 15 years of successful innovation and research in cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick. The creation of the Institute allows us to forge an even more crucial role in developing security measures necessary to protect modern critical infrastructure in Canada and beyond,” said UNB vice chancellor Eddy Campbell in a statement. 

Cybersecurity is growing, but cyberattacks are growing faster

According to a statement sent to MobileSyrup, the global cybersecurity market is valued at $75 billion USD as of 2015, and will potentially reach $170 billion by 2020.

Those estimates however, are nothing compared to the growing global cost of cyberattacks themselves, which are likely to reach $2.1 trillion by 2020.

Through the ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund and through the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Canada will donate over $2 million CAD to the initiative.

Bringing jobs to New Brunswick

In addition, Premier Brian Gallant announced a provincial contribution of just under $2 million while UNB President Eddy Campbell announced a university investment of $330 thousand. 

“The need for more cybersecurity support and services around the world is a huge opportunity to create jobs here in our province,” said Gallant in a statement.

“New Brunswick is already a world leader in cybersecurity. Enhancing training and research opportunities through this institute is another step in seizing this significant economic opportunity.” 

Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity at UNB and Dean of the Faculty of Computer Sciences Ali Ghorbani, Canada Research Chair will serve as director of the Institute. In documents sent to MobileSyrup, Ghorbani commented that this hub will aim to collaborate with governments on their efforts to enhance cybersecurity on all fronts. 

“In today’s society, we trust highly confidential and private information to systems that are constantly under attack. The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity is poised to alter the cyber warfare landscape by propelling research, training and collaboration with governments and industry to new levels,” said Ghorbani in a statement.    

Even the big guys get hacked

Furthermore however, cybersecurity has been brought to the forefront of national concern in the past few years due to a number of significant events. In addition to several notable standoffs between government officials and tech giants (Apple vs. FBI), multiple high profile attacks were recorded as well.

Some of these include the DDoS attack that went on to disrupt a large portion of internet traffic this past October, as well as the high-profile attacks on Twitter, LinkedIn, Ashley Madison, Myspace, etc., that have taken place in the past five years.

Image credit: TheDigitalWay via Pixabay

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