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Cyber. Right. Now.

Cyber. Right. Now.

In an increasingly interconnected and digital world, cybersecurity is an ever more vital topic for Canadians, government and businesses alike.

The Council

Canada is well-positioned to be a leader in cybersecurity with a strong foundation already in place thanks to our leading firms, technology and talent — but our global competitors are moving fast. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce and its members on the Cyber. Right. Now. Council are committed to engaging with government to shape new strategies and legislation that will help enhance the global competitiveness of Canadian cybersecurity solutions and realize Canada’s potential as the most cyber-secure country in the world.

Since cybersecurity is essential to Canada’s national and economic security, the Council is focused on shaping key policy priorities to ensure that the federal government invests in cybersecurity at levels on-par with G7 peers to protect Canada’s infrastructure, business and communities from ever-evolving threats. Increased action and investment in cybersecurity stands to benefit all Canadians which is why the Council aims to advance talent development, workforce diversification, DEI, research and development and commercialization in the space.

The Council is made up of a diverse group of organizations of all sizes from across Canada that are operating in cybersecurity, technology, finance, telecommunications, energy and other sectors.

Policy Priorities

Accelerating the competitiveness of Canada’s cybersecurity industry will require continuous and strategic investment in cybersecurity innovation, talent development and infrastructure. In a tightly competitive global market, Canada finds itself at risk of being left behind.

Government must:

  • Accelerate and scale the commercialization of cybersecurity innovation in Canada by establishing a Cybersecurity Commercialization Program that bridges the gap between research, product development and optimization in high-impact and high-reward areas.
  • Modernize research and development programs as well as intellectual property strategies to reward companies undertaking high-risk research where near-term returns on investment are absent.
  • Create opportunities for made-in-Canada cybersecurity products and services by establishing a Cybersecurity Technology Early Adoption Program that encourages public and private entities to become early adopters.

With Canadians frequently accessing digital services, the risks are at an all time high and considered to be a “persistent threat to Canadians” by Canada’s Centre for Cyber Security. Consider this data from the 2023 CIRA Cybersecurity Survey:

  • More than 60% of organizations have used their cyber incidence response plan in the last 12 months.
  • In 2023, 40% of organizations experienced an employee and/or customer data breach compared to 11% in 2022.
  • Nearly 30% of organizations experienced a loss of revenue as a result of a cyberattack last year, compared to 17% in 2022.

Protecting privacy and data protection and securing Canadian critical infrastructure, supply chains and businesses of all sizes from cyberthreats are essential actions in our modern economy.

Government must:

  • Secure Canadian critical infrastructure, supply chains and businesses from cyber threats by investing in cybersecurity. Encouraging investment in IT and operational technology security will help critical infrastructure operators of all sizes develop and deploy prevention-first cybersecurity strategies.
  • Create a SME Cyber Defence Fund that provides SMEs with the necessary support to improve their cyber resilience and close the cybersecurity investment gap through the reallocation of funding of existing government programs, such as the Canada Digital Adoption Program (CDAP).

Canada needs technology procurement practices that are more agile and increase the diversity of bidders on government contracts.

Government must:

  • Stimulate cybersecurity innovation in Canada through public sector procurement by making government technology procurement practices more agile, challenge-based and outcome-driven. 
  • Create more opportunities for cybersecurity start-ups, scale-ups and underrepresented groups who own or lead small businesses by leveraging existing policies and accelerating efforts by Public Services and Procurement Canada to increase the diversity of bidders on government contracts.

In 2018, Canada’s 340 cybersecurity companies contributed $2.3 billion to Canada’s GDP and 22,000 high-skilled, well-paying jobs. Continuing to sustain innovation and build trust in this digital world demands continued growth of cybersecurity capacity.

Government must:

  • Make cybersecurity education, talent development and retention a national priority and invest in programs that diversify and expand the cyber-workforce pipeline.
  • Align skilled workforce immigration programs to help Canadian companies recruit top cybersecurity talent globally through creative incentive programs, such as fast-track immigration.

Co-Chairs

David Shipley
Chief Executive Officer
Beauceron Security

John de Boer
Senior Director, Government Affairs and Public Policy, Canada
BlackBerry

For more information on Cyber. Right. Now., please contact Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation.

Updates

Canadian Chamber Appears before Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security. On February 5, 2024, our Senior Director of Digital Economy, Technology and Innovation Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, addressed the House of Commons Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security to discuss Bill C-26, an act respecting cybersecurity. Read more.

On October 4, attendees joined our virtual Cybersecurity Executive Summit to hear from industry leaders on the importance of securing our digitally enabled world. Read more or watch a recording of the event.

In an interview with Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Yana Lukasheh, Vice-President of Government Affairs and Business Development of SAP Canada, discussed the advantages of accelerating digital technology adoption to achieve net-zero objectives. Read more.

Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, interviewed tech policy thought leader Marjorie Dickman, Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer at BlackBerry about one of today’s hottest topics: generative Artificial Intelligence. Read more.

On April 24 and 25, 2023, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce held our annual Hill Days, where business leaders from various sectors came together to meet with Parliamentarians and government officials to discuss the most pressing policy issues affecting Canadian businesses and the economy. Members of the Cyber. Right. Now. Council met with government representatives from different ministries and departments, including the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Public Safety, Innovation, Science and Industry, National Defence, and the Privy Council Office. Read more.

The Internet of Things (IoT) innovation is having a significant impact on the cybersecurity landscape for Canadian companies. As more and more devices are connected to the internet, the attack surface for cybercriminals expands, and the potential for security breaches increases. In March 2023, Cyber. Right. Now. Council lead Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia discussed IoT innovations and their impact on Canadian businesses with Farshad Abasi, Chief Security Officer at Forward Security. Read more.

In December, the Cyber. Right. Now. Council, led by Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, had the opportunity to meet with officials from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Public Safety Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and Minister Champagne’s Office. The Council and officials discussed several cybersecurity, national security, workforce, certification and privacy matters, while acknowledging that cybersecurity is an opportunity and economic driver. The Council highlighted the importance of ongoing collaboration and working in partnership to create a stronger cybersecurity infrastructure in Canada and for Canada to lead the global cybersecurity future. View photo.

In December, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director of Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, contributed to the Cybersecure Policy Exchange Scaling Cyber – Advancing Canada’s Cybersecurity Startups report. Advancing policies that will help Canadian tech companies scale is an important element of Cyber. Right. Now.’s work. Read more.

In November, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, moderated the Public Sector Network’s Cyber Security and Risk Management Fall Edition Virtual Event. The discussion highlighted the most prominent threats, challenges, and strategies to better protect organizations, data, and citizens. Read more.

In October, Cyber. Right. Now. member F12.net, along with the Council’s Canadian Chamber lead, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, hosted a conversation that explored the opportunities surrounding cybersecurity and how it can be a key differentiator for businesses moving forward. Watch now.

In October, Cyber. Right. Now. Council lead Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia moderated a timely webinar hosted by GRIT Technologies. Taking place during Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Small Business Week, the conversation included information on the evolving cybersecurity landscape and how organizations and individuals can protect themselves. Watch now.

In October, Cyber. Right. Now. Council lead Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia wrote an op-ed in The Hill Times saying that Canada’s ability to attract and retain international talent is crucial to creating business success. Read more.

In September, Cyber. Right. Now. Council lead Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia interviewed Council member Marjorie Dickman, Chief Government Affairs & Public Policy Officer at BlackBerry, on how protecting Canada from cyber threats must include protecting small and mid-sized businesses. Read more.

In September, Cyber. Right. Now Council. lead Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia and Council member Kathryn Cameron, Chief Operating Officer of Beauceron Security, discussed balancing the pros and cons of ‘all things digital’. Read more.

In an interview with Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director for Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Sumit Bhatia, Director of Innovation and Policy at Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, discussed how future-forward talent strategies can help address the cybersecurity challenge. Read more.

In March, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia sat down with Council member Kyra Jones, Head of Talent and Academy at Communitech, to discuss why fostering an inclusive, future-forward organizational culture is a key ingredient of any successful talent attraction and retention strategy. Boosting Canada’s cybersecurity skill-set and career opportunities is a key pillar of the CRN Council. Read more.

In March, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia and Council member Cheryl McGrath, Optiv Canada’s Area VP & Country General Manager, discussed transitioning from the Internet of Things to the Interconnectedness of Everything. Read more.

In February, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released its Federal Budget recommendations, including $1.5 billion for cybersecurity improvements focused on securing critical infrastructure and supply chains, commercialization programs, and workforce development. Read more.

In February, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia commented on cybersecurity and supply chain resiliency as it related to new data from the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions. Read more.

In February, the Canadian Chamber published an open letter calling on the federal government to become more engaged and serious about Canadian cybersecurity. Read more.

In February, at the Canadian Chamber’s Canada 360° Economic Summit, the Future of the Digital Economy panel included Cyber. Right. Now. members CYDEF, Field Effect, Forward Security, and Beauceron Security. Watch now.

In December, the Canadian Chamber commented on the 151% increase in cyberattacks in the first six months of the year and calculated the financial impact of at least $540 million. Read more.

Cybersecurity

In October, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, participated in The Globe and Mail event, ‘Before the Breach,’ to discuss cybersecurity essentials for Canadian business. Read more and watch the recording.

At the Canadian Chamber of Commerce 2021 Annual General Meeting in October, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation, hosted the panel discussion, The Digitalization of Small Business, that included Cyber. Right. Now. Council members Communitech and Beauceron Security. Watch now.

In October, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, wrote in an op-ed in The Hill Times that “we’re only as secure as our weakest links,” and explained how Canada can lead the global cybersecurity future. Read more.

During Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October, the Cyber. Right. Now. Council released a detailed set of recommendations for how Canada can lead the global cybersecurity future. See above on this page.

In September, Ulrike Bahr-Gedalia, Senior Director, Digital Economy, Technology & Innovation at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, was featured in an interview with Blackberry’s Marjorie Dickman, Chief Government Affairs and Public Policy Officer, highlighting the importance of cybersecurity for the Canadian economy and labour market. Read more.

In August, the Canadian Chamber released its election platform, What It Takes to Grow, including several key priorities for cybersecurity and digital infrastructure. Read more.

In July, The Hill Times covered the Canadian Chamber’s calls for the federal government to provide funding to assist SMEs with cybersecurity measures. Read more.

In June, the Canadian Chamber launched the Cyber. Right. Now. Council, earning coverage on CTV News.

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