The University of New Brunswick hosted the Standing Senate Committee of Banking, Trade and Commerce (BANC) as they released the report Cyber Assault: It should keep you up at night.

The report states Canada’s infrastructure is vulnerable to cyber attacks. With three out of five Canadians having four or more devices connected to the internet in their homes, 10 million Canadians were victims of cyber crime in 2017.

The committee urges the federal government to create a new federal minister of cyber security to coordinate cyber security efforts across all levels of government. It also asks the federal government to modernize Canada’s privacy legislation and offer businesses incentives to invest cyber security improvements to keep Canadians safe from cyber crimes.

The committee insists national cyber security strategy starts with education. During the release of the report, the committee looked to Dr. Ali Ghorbani, director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity and Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity, as the leader of national cyber security.

“The skills shortage in cybersecurity is well documented and is very clear,” says Dr. Ghorbani. “By 2021, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions and cybercrime damages will cost the world $6 trillion annually.”

Recognizing the evolution of the fast-changing cybersecurity discipline, CIC and the faculty of computer science at UNB will offer a career-focused and purpose-driven master’s degree in cybersecurity.

“The weakest link in cybersecurity is now people, not devices,” says Dr. Ghorbani. “Cybersecurity breaches impact all of us, so it’s crucial that all levels of government, academia and industry work together to prevent them.”

Media contact: Paisley Sibbald

Photo: From left to right, Sen. Percy Mockler, Sen. Carolyn Stewart Olsen, Sen. Douglas Black, and Dr. Ali Ghorbani, director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at the University of New Brunswick. Credit: Rob Blanchard/UNB