PwC Canada acquires Ottawa-based cybersecurity consulting firm Avaleris

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PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) announced the acquisition of IT firm Avaleris Inc. on Thursday amid growing need for cybersecurity implementations.

Headquartered in Ottawa, Avaleris was launched in January 2006 by co-founders Ron Mac Donell, Anita Burwash, Hugh Lindley, and Marc Mac Donell. The company offers security, hybrid identity and access management solutions to provide its clients with cybersecurity infrastructures.

Over 30 cybersecurity professionals from Avaleris will be joining the PwC network, according to the announcement. According to its website, Avaleris has worked with a diverse group of industries including finance; oil and gas; retail; corporate; healthcare; government and public services; and education.

Its acquisition comes after PwC unveiled a new global strategy in June called “The New Equation” where the company announced it will “continue to rapidly expand its use of cloud, artificial intelligence, technology alliances, virtual reality and other emerging technologies to deliver…competitive advantage for clients.”

The company also published its 2021 PwC Canadian insights of the CEO survey where it found that cyber threats has moved up to the second most concerning threat to an organization.

337 chief executives participated in the survey conducted in January and February. Their insights reveal how some Canadian companies are realigning their strategies to ensure their companies’ sustainable growth.

RELATED: How vulnerable is Canada to cyberattacks?

The COVID-19 pandemic became an accelerator of companies’ digital transformation. Canadian spending on digital transformation is steadily climbing with the country investing approximately $32 billion CAD in 2019 and $35 billion CAD in 2020, according to Shanghong Liu’s research published in Statista.

However, the pandemic also “increases the threat of cyberattacks and the spread of misinformation,” according to PwC’s 2021 report.

Cyber attacks are on the rise in Canada as more people are working remotely from their homes and are exposed to the internet’s vulnerabilities. In Canadian Security Magazine’s 2020 survey, 99 percent of the 251 Canadian CIOs, CTOs and CISOs that responded said cyber threats against their organizations have increased in the past year.

It also found that 100 percent said their business experienced a security breach in the last year with an average of 1.1 breaches during this time.

“Canadian cybersecurity professionals said they are using an average of more than nine different tools or consoles to manage their cyber defense program,” the report states, “This indicates a security environment that has evolved reactively as security tools have been adopted to tackle emerging threats.”

In a previous Betakit report, the Canadian government promised to respond to the growing need for cybersecurity through the Cyber Security Innovation Network, which will aim to support the country’s cybersecurity ecosystem through industry and academic collaboration.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and the business and technology editor at The Eyeopener, Ryerson's largest independent newspaper.