Ontario government, Rogers invest combined $8.8 million for province-wide cybersecurity initiative

Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst
Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange, TMU’s cybersecurity centre are leading the initiative.

The Government of Ontario and Rogers Communications are making a combined $8.8-million investment to launch the Ontario Cybersecurity Excellence Initiative (OCEI), which is meant to drive the province’s competitiveness in cybersecurity and help industries adopt cybersecurity technologies.

Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX) (a private non-profit organization), and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU)’s Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst will be leading those efforts for OCEI. The initiative is enabled by the investment from the Ontario government and Rogers, combined with other in-kind contributions that brings the total to $10 million over three years.

Per a Mastercard report, the average cost of a data breach for Canadian businesses in 2022 is estimated at $5.64 million.

Launched in 2019, The Catalyst is TMU’s national centre for training, innovation and collaboration in cybersecurity. It offers a number of certification programs and an accelerator for cybersecurity startups, among other services across Canada.

The Catalyst said that OCEI will activate new streams of programming at the centre. Ultimately, the new organization aims to drive new Ontario-made security solutions, as well as help small and medium-sized enterprises integrate cybersecurity technologies into their products and processes.

The initiative put an emphasis on providing cybersecurity support for six sectors it has identified: advanced manufacturing, automotive, life sciences, mining, law enforcement, and smart infrastructure.

A March report from Mastercard found that the average cost of data breaches for Canadian businesses in 2022 is estimated at $5.64 million. However, the report says, only 39 percent of business leaders have implemented ongoing vulnerability assessment tools.

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The OCEI programs, which The Catalyst expects to launch in 2024, will be free to participating companies and individuals. They will also include membership within the CCTX to give participants exposure to the Canadian security-threat landscape. An annual membership with the CCTX would otherwise cost $50,000.

Founded in 2015, CCTX is a membership-funded cyber threat-sharing hub and collaboration organization. Through its data exchange, CCTX provides a view into cyber events directly impacting Canadian business, along with mitigation options and tools to combat identified threats.

To register their interest for OCEI, Ontario-based companies and founders can sign up here.

Featured image courtesy Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a staff writer for BetaKit.

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