Cybersecurity in spotlight at GTEC 2015 conference

In the shadow of the federal election, more than 4,000 people are expected to converge on the Shaw Centre for the GTEC conference and exhibition this week.

“GTEC is an absolutely appropriate forum for government and industry to come together,” executive director Michele Lajeunesse said in a recent interview with OBJ.

Monday’s pre-conference is featuring forums on cybersecurity and leadership as well as an invitation-only executive roundtable.

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The following two days will see a number of keynote addresses from Hathaway Global Strategies President Melissa Hathaway, Shared Services Canada COO John Glowacki and Salesforce executive vice-president Vivek Kundra.

Ms. Hathaway will discuss how the Internet and information communications technology – and the lack of stakeholders’ trust in both – is changing the security landscape.

Mr. Glowacki will discuss how Shared Services Canadais developing a structure in which a dedicated part of the organization is responsible for the entire lifecycle of the services it provides, helping the agency change how it does business with its partners and industry.

Mr. Kundra, a former chief information officer for the United States government, will speak on the rise of the “connected” government.

The conference will also feature panels on the Internet of Things and the journey to the cloud.

Ms. Lajeunesse said if there was one can’t-miss event, it would be the Oxford-style debate Tuesday afternoon. With the premise “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,” Ryerson University assistant professor Ramona Pringle will argue the need for greater regulation on privacy issues, while broadcaster Jesse Hirsch will champion the need for more transparency. Former speaker of the House Peter Milliken will moderate the debate, with plenty of opportunity for audience participation.

“We are definitely providing the forums to begin national discourse on these topics, to continue the national discourse and also to educate many different people as well,” Ms. Lajeunesse said.

Also of interest, she said, was a breakfast panel set for Wednesday morning at 7:15 on strategies for promoting women in ICT. A reception later in the day will be the forum for an announcement on a new national network to tackle the issue.

Along with the conference, there are more than 140 booths at the exhibition, which is slightly more than last year and a good number considering it’s an election year, Ms. Lajeunesse said.

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