Technation launches cybersecurity taskforce, calls on Canadian governments to “recognize cybersecurity as a matter of national security”

Taskforce has leaders from CGI, Cisco, eSentire, Darktrace, Infosys, Microsoft, SkyHive.

Mississauga-based tech advocacy organization Technation has created a new taskforce that will focus on addressing some of the cyber threats facing Canada.

The national technology industry association’s Cybersecurity Taskforce includes leaders from tech startups and more established firms, including CGI, Cisco, eSentire, Darktrace, Infosys, Microsoft, and SkyHive.

Chaired by Gary Miller, CGI’s VP of Canada cybersecurity, Technation’s new taskforce includes eSentire president and COO J. Paul Haynes.

As Technation noted, cyber attacks pose a growing threat to the country’s economy, public infrastructure, power grids, utilities, and healthcare sector. Under these circumstances, Technation launched this taskforce to help identify and address challenges in Canada’s cybersecurity sector, from talent readiness and availability to cyber resilience in small and medium-sized businesses and municipalities, and emerging areas of tech like quantum computing, Internet of Things, and 5G.

“Canadian governments must recognize cybersecurity as a matter of national security and do all that is required to ensure cyber compliance across all industries,” said Technation president and CEO Angela Mondou, who is sitting on the taskforce. Mondou noted that the organization’s new taskforce “intends to amplify, and take action in this important work.”

The Technation taskforce launch follows a number of recent commitments made by the Government of Canada to bolster the country’s cybersecurity sector, including promising $875 million CAD in Budget 2022 towards cybersecurity and introducing new legislation to strengthen Canada’s cyber-resiliency. Last May, the federal government also announced plans to invest $80 million in the creation pan-Canadian cybersecurity program.

Provincially, Technation has previously called for Ontario to provide more targeted spending and support for cybersecurity. For its part, Alberta’s latest budget committed nearly $500 million to technology, digital delivery, and cybersecurity operations, including supporting the creation of a new cybersecurity division to foster collaboration between public and private organizations. Meanwhile, Québec recently allocated $100 million to shore up its own cybersecurity, and British Columbia’s latest budget document did not mention cybersecurity.

The Technation taskforce launch also comes a few months after the CIO Strategy Council—Canada’s national forum for chief information officers (CIO) and executive tech leaders—outlined plans to establish a national occupation standard for cybersecurity workers in the country as part of a push to ensure Canada’s cyber workforce is qualified for the job.

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Technation is a not-for-profit organization focused on uniting the country’s tech sector with governments, communities, and global tech leaders. Formerly known as the Information Technology Association of Canada, Technation publicly advocates for its tech company members, and has a list of goals that include filling the tech talent pipeline.

This taskforce comes as part of Technation’s mandate to ensure government and industry players work together “to define and execute a national cybersecurity strategy and build resiliency across the nation.”

Chaired by Gary Miller, CGI’s VP of Canada cybersecurity, Technation’s new taskforce includes members of multinational tech companies and Canadian cybersecurity startups like eSentire president and COO J. Paul Haynes, Darktrace director of enterprise security David Masson, and Microsoft Canada chief security officer Kevin Magee.

The taskforce has been given four primary goals: identify “realistic cyber imperative areas” to change and improve; develop strategies for increasing the country’s supply of qualified cybersecurity workers; educate individual Canadians and organizations on the need for cybersecurity awareness and readiness; and help develop “the Canadian digital economy for the future.”

Feature image courtesy Unsplash. Photo by Kevin Ku.

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit reporter focused on telling in-depth Canadian tech stories and breaking news. His coverage is more complete than his moustache. He was also the winner of SABEW Canada’s 2023 Jeff Sanford Best Young Journalist award.

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