Critical infrastructure and cybersecurity

August 2, 2019



Photo: Tyson Johnson, Chief Operating Officer of CyberNB, at the CyberSmart Summit 2019 in Fredericton. CyberSmart is North America’s only international cybersecurity skills and workforce development summit. (CyberNB) 

  Critical infrastructure and cybersecurity

We are in the midst of an all-encompassing technological revolution. The list of innovations causing technological and socio-economic disruptions is growing every day and with this growth comes a corresponding number of privacy and security risks. As a result, cybersecurity is now a priority for citizens, businesses, and governments.

CyberNB, a Canadian Crown corporation, is the only government mandated organization focusing on economic development around cybersecurity in New Brunswick. 

“More specifically it is economic development for critical infrastructure protection, such as energy and utilities, financial services, military and defense, healthcare, oil and gas, and telecommunications,” said Tyson Johnson, the Chief Operating Officer of CyberNB.

Thanks to a wealth of critical infrastructure, advanced telecommunications, and the capability to conduct research and development, New Brunswick has an established and growing cybersecurity industry. 

“We have significant dark fiber across the province, we have deep seaports, nuclear power plants, hydroelectric dams, smart grid initiatives and a lot of other infrastructure that need protection. Most importantly, we have industry, government, and academia that are aligned in their efforts to improve protection” Johnson said. 

Cyber NB’s strategic partners include the University of New Brunswick which has been in the computer security space for decades. UNB’s Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity is leading research and advances including commercialization initiatives with companies like Siemens. Additionally, IBM has their centre of excellence in Fredericton and brings a wealth of experience, a critical mass of talent and world exposure to the province. 

The Canadian Crown corporation works hard at increasing the level of collaboration between those who need to be secured and the companies who can provide the security. Its goal is to be an active coordinator between industry, academia, and government while driving innovation and economic growth in New Brunswick. 

For an organization either providing services or looking to secure services around critical infrastructure, New Brunswick's competitive advantage over other jurisdictions is that it offers access to top talent, industry providers, and a diverse customer base, all in one place.

“We have access to talent that is being home-grown from our incredible programs in cybersecurity in our school systems, universities and colleges, and our Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program, through which we can recruit internationally, fast. The advantage is that people here know the market so it's a great place for a company looking to grow,” said Johnson. 

CyberNB wants to be recognized as an organization where collaboration, innovation, and new products in commercialization occur to help mature and grow Canada’s critical infrastructure protection in cybersecurity. The organization’s overall goal is to help secure critical infrastructure, help the country and help its economy.