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Annual Report

On the cybersecurity frontier

For more than 15 years, UNB has been on the frontlines of building cybersecurity innovation in the province, helping New Brunswick become a national hub for research and training in the field.

The university took a historic step in cementing that leadership position with the opening of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity (CIC) at its Fredericton campus in January, 2017.

The creation of the institute allows UNB to forge an even more crucial role in developing security measures necessary to protect modern critical infrastructure in Canada and beyond.

Altering cyberwarfare

“The CIC is poised to alter the cyberwarfare landscape by propelling research, training and collaboration with governments and industry to new levels,” says its director, Dr. Ali Ghorbani.

The CIC is a comprehensive multidisciplinary training, research and development and entrepreneurial institute which operates in close collaboration with researchers in the social sciences, business, computer science, engineering, law, and science, as well as at other national and international research centres.

IBM first research partner

The institute was launched with $2.27 million in funding from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund and through the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. The provincial government provided a contribution of nearly $2 million, while UNB added $330,000 in funding.

IBM became the institute’s first research and development partner, helping to fund highly skilled resources in the field of cybersecurity and other in-kind contributions such as technical and management resources to provide project oversight and mentorship for students.

This partnership builds on IBM’s long-standing connections with the university. In 2011, IBM acquired Q1 Labs – its QRadar Security Intelligence Platform was developed in partnership with the University of New Brunswick. The acquisition served as a catalyst for IBM to form its security division, which is now a $2 billion business employing more than 8,000 researchers, developers and security experts across 133 countries worldwide.

Going global

Within the year, the Canadian Cybersecurity Institute went global.

By October, the institute had became one of 14 leading organizations from around the world invited to form the new Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems Partnership in Innovation and Cybersecurity, or Global EPIC.

”Given that cybercrime is a global phenomenon,” says Dr. Ghorbani, “it is important to partner with organizations around the world to better combat this threat.”