Waterloo Security Dialogue

Speakers: Aaron Shull Shelly Bruce Paul Samson

December 11, 2023

Waterloo Security Dialogue

The Waterloo Security Dialogue brought together leaders and experts to explore the interconnectedness of cybersecurity among various levels of government (federal, territorial, provincial, municipal), Indigenous groups and the private sector and consider ways to improve Canada’s national cyber resilience. The conversations centred around three key themes: the sharing of cyberthreat information and the factors that contribute to its effectiveness; collaboration and coordination practices during cyber incidents between government agencies and the private sector; and initiatives aimed at bolstering cyber resilience in Canada.

This video featuring select conference participants introduces the key challenges and ideas raised at the conference and encourages a full reading of the special report.

Tricia Geddes:

We know this is an area where the threats are evolving rapidly, where the concerns that people have about how best to protect their systems, how best to protect Canadians — it’s really paramount.

It’s in the forefront of most decision makers’ minds.

We had folks from across all aspects of cybersecurity sitting in the same room. They come to it with totally different vantage points, but a true sense of common purpose, same types of objectives.

We’re all in this to be able to keep Canadians safe.

Shelly Bruce

It’s down to us to figure how to work together to build up a national culture of cyber resilience, one where there are fewer incidents, less severe incidents, and ones that we can recover from more quickly.

Tricia Geddes

One of the key lessons for me is the speed and the urgency that everyone feels about moving forward — not waiting to have the perfect strategy, the perfect processes, the perfect systems.

We have to be in a state of constant rapid improvement in order to be able to get ahead of these threats.

Shelly Bruce

It’s not all doom and gloom. The bar is moving in the right direction, and that’s good. Despite the challenge that we face, we’ve got critical infrastructure organizations who are really investing in cybersecurity and best practices, and becoming expert, mature leaders in their own right.

We’ve got a national cybersecurity organization that’s world class, that’s dishing out expert advice and guidance, and really helping to respond to incidents around the country.

Chris Ingliss

I come away very impressed with what CIGI is doing here. Bringing together the kind of talent that they did. Very diverse perspectives,very diverse authorities, giving them a sense of common cause, common aspiration,so that we can do things together no one of us can do alone.

Teams beat silos all day, every day. Competence matters, and so we need to make sure that at deliberate speed, we’re using every head, every expertise in the room.

And at the end of the day, we’re looking for collaboration, not division of effort.

I think if we do that, we can actually turn the corner in our cyber aspirations.

Aaron Shull

It’s going to be about engaging, right across this country, with municipalities, with Indigenous persons and organizations, with SMEs, with critical infrastructure providers, with the provinces and territories, and with the federal government.

Shelly Bruce

Anybody who identifies with one of those jurisdictions will really see themselves reflected in this report and hopefully want to be part of the collaboration going forward.

Paul Samson

This is about building a truly national strategy with all of the right players.

It’s not a federal strategy.

If Canada ever were hit by a massive cyberattack, we need to be ready and we need to have the right things in place.

CIGI’s Waterloo Security Dialogue is shaping this and building the right “Team Canada” approach.

Aaron Shull

If state actors and cybercriminals don’t rest, neither will we.

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