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CIC announces new advisory board

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Oct 26, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton

The Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton has a new advisory board comprised of outstanding members from private and public sectors.

“The mission of the CIC is to contribute to Canadian society by being a transformational leader in cybersecurity, providing thought leadership and connectivity for the Canadian cybersecurity ecosystem,” says Dr. Ali Ghorbani, director of CIC. “We are excited to welcome our new board members who will support the Institute in advancing the goals and business objectives of the Institute in areas that address cybersecurity risks and impacts to society, governments and industry, as well as contribute to our success.

“With the new advisory board, the CIC is also embarking on a new short-term goal which is our commitment to diversity, as the composition of our new board members will reflect the diversity of our community.”

Seven out of fifteen members of the new advisory board are women who are highly successful leaders in their prospective fields and organizations.

The new members of the advisory board reflect a wide range of industries and leading organization such as Scotiabank, Suncor Energy, TD Bank, CIRA, Rogers and Bluebear. In addition, respected and world-class academicians from UNB, the University of Montreal and CCNB, leaders from the public service and non-for-profits, including the Province of New Brunswick, Opportunities New Brunswick, CIO Strategy Council, CERENE-Risk, IN-SEC-M and CCTX, will help the CIC in advancing the academic goals and business objectives in the area of cybersecurity.

“CIC has emerged as a centre in connecting academia with real-life cybersecurity challenges and plays an important role in creating technology and solutions to solve the real problems of the industry. TD has been a member of the CIC since its inception which has proved to be a successful example of industry-academia collaboration,” says Jeffrey Henderson, the new chair of the advisory board and the executive vice-president, technology and data risk management at TD Bank Group. “ We have a strong advisory board which reflects very critical verticals of business. Our objective is to encourage more partnerships between CIC and industry in order to commercialize Canadian discoveries and keep Canada on the global map for innovation. I am truly excited to be a part of this journey with my colleagues on the board.”

CIC held its official opening in January 2017 and was established as a comprehensive multidisciplinary training, R&D and entrepreneurial unit by Dr. Ghorbani. Its precursor, the Information Security Centre of Excellence, operated at UNB since 2007 and was a leader in information and communication security. Since its start, CIC has offered training through workshops and webinars, taken part in international conferences, supported national-level policymakers, filed patents, developed start-ups, and made 20-plus benchmark datasets publicly available to universities, private industry, and researchers to test and validate. The Institute also works with the faculty of computer science at UNB Fredericton to offer cybersecurity-based programs to students, currently offering a specialization in cybersecurity for BCS students, MCS and PhD degrees with a focus on cybersecurity, and the master of applied cybersecurity (MACSec) degree.

In 2021, CIC launched the RICKS internship program with Bell Canada to place MACSec graduates into jobs. Within the same year, the Institute and four other university cybersecurity leaders created the National Cybersecurity Consortium and incorporated the organization as a pan-Canadian not-for-profit inclusive consortium.

There have been more than a dozen industry partners since 2017, including TD Bank, Siemens, Scotiabank, Bell and McCain, as well as signed memorandums of understanding, letters of intent, and non-disclosure agreements with organizations from around the world.

“We have been creating disruptive technology and carrying out groundbreaking research into the most pressing cybersecurity challenges of our time during the last four years. With our new advisory board, staff, academic and industry partners, and of course, our researchers and students, we will take our operations to the next stage and continue to contribute to Canadian society, train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals, and develop and offer fundamental cyber hygiene practices to public and private sectors,” says Dr. Ghorbani.

Media contact: Kelsey Pye