National ICT industry association welcomes new National Cyber Strategy; Cautiously awaiting program details in the fall

OTTAWA, ON (June 12, 2018) – Today’s announcement of a new Canadian Cyber Security Strategy by Public Safety Canada, including a consolidation of federal cyber operations, is an important step forward for our nation. However, the continued lack of details is discouraging; this according to the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

“Since the federal government’s first cyber strategy in 2010, the threat landscape has significantly evolved,” said Robert Watson, president and CEO, ITAC. “Cyber attacks have already had a measurable adverse impact on Canada, totaling billions of dollars. Protecting the Canadian economy from cyber attacks requires a whole of community approach and collaboration between the public and private sector. Canada has the potential to be a global cyber security leader – and it’s crucial that we don’t fall behind.”

ITAC has previously called upon the government to introduce a cyber certification program, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A program like this would require increase in Canadian cyber talent capacity – which is already in limited supply. Talent is the foundation of Canada’s cyber security industry, and of tech-based innovations across Canada. Today’s announcement provided few details on the government’s proposed approach. It is our hope that these areas are addressed in future announcements.

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security will provide industry with a single contact point for engagement – a strong acknowledgement that changes are needed. Historically, the Government of Canada’s approach to cyber security has been spread out among numerous departments. ITAC welcomes the announcement of Scott Jones, as First Head of the Canadian Centre of Cyber Security and looks forward to working closely with him and our industry partners.

“It is our hope that the government continue to focus on the research, development and commercialization of new cyber security technologies, and will develop programming to support the growth of Canada’s dynamic cyber security industry, and scale up our cyber SMEs, to take advantage of a $100B global cyber economy,” added Watson. “Only a fraction of the funds outlined in the Federal Government’s 2018 Budget were included in today’s announcement. There is considerable money still yet to be allocated and announced, and Canada’s ICT sector is eagerly awaiting more details.”

About Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC)

As Canada’s national ICT business association, the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) champions the development of a robust and sustainable digital economy in Canada. A vital connection between business and government, we provide our members with the advocacy, networking and professional development services that help them to thrive nationally and compete globally.

A prominent advocate for the expansion of Canada’s innovative capacity, ITAC encourages technology adoption to capitalize on productivity and performance opportunities across all sectors. A member-driven not-for-profit, ITAC has served as the authoritative national voice of the $170 billion ICT industry for over 60 years. More than 36,000 Canadian ICT firms create and supply goods and services that contribute to a more productive, competitive, and innovative society. The ICT sector generates over one million jobs directly and indirectly and invests $4.9 billion annually in R&D, more than any other private sector performer.

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