Earlier this year, hackers stole nearly 15 gigabytes of company information, including payroll and bank account data, from Goldcorp Inc., one of Canada’s largest mining companies.
Last summer, the hactivist group Anonymous struck the federal government, shutting down a number of key websites.
The speed, severity and scope of hacker activity, and other malicious threats to organizations, nations and individuals online, continues to rise. According to the Global Risk Institute, cyberattacks have increased globally by 38 per cent since 2014, with the annual cost estimate at up to US$1 trillion.
That’s why the Ontario College of Management and Technology is hosting the first-of-its-kind International Cyber Security and Intelligence Conference (ICSIC), Sept. 7 to 8, in Toronto.
“Issues of cyber security are critically important to all of us,” said Yomi Olalere, Founder and President of the Ontario College of Management and Technology. “It’s crucial for professionals to come forward and discuss a way forward with best practices, and to hear from renowned experts about how an organization can secure their vital digital assets, how a nation can secure its critical infrastructure, and how an individual can protect themselves in cyberspace.”
Canada’s first Cyber Security and Intelligence Awards
ICSIC offers a unique opportunity for cyber security professionals, CIOs, legal professionals, members of law enforcement, students and academic researchers, as well as interested members of the public, to interact with some of the best brains in the industry.
ICSIC will also feature Canada’s first Cyber Security and Intelligence Awards, on Sept. 8, to appreciate and recognize the efforts of industry experts globally to secure cyberspace.
Security vs. privacy in the battle against the Dark Web
For speaker Dr. Arash Habibi Lashkari, there is no better opportunity in North America to hear from and engage with such a high-calibre crowd of thought leaders.
Dr. Lashkari is postdoctoral researcher at the Information Security Center of Excellence (ISCX) in the Faculty of Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick, and a project manager at the Canadian Institute of Cybersecurity (CIC). His talk will focus on how we can take the measures necessary to combat the so-called Dark Web of criminal activity online without infringing on the privacy of the individual.
“It’s a dynamic cat-and-mouse game that’s always evolving, to understand what encryption and cryptographic techniques are being used by criminals to hide their activities,” he said. “We need to focus on how we can identify threats and the sources of threats using high-level traffic analysis, instead of relying on the deep packet inspection that touches the data of law-abiding citizens and breaches their privacy.”
Turning data into actionable intelligence
For Paul de Souza, the key to combatting cyber-collection activities is to understand the human element – why the collector is trying to obtain sensitive information. He is founder and director of the Cyber Security Forum Initiative (Cyber Warfare Division), and advisor to the Military Cyber Professionals Association.
“This concept is called MICE – Money, Ideology, Compromise or Coercion, and Ego or Extortion (depending on the source),” he said. “While much effort is expended on technologies that can aid understanding the motives of the collector, there is too little focus on using human intelligence and human collection capabilities, to transform information into actionable intelligence. ICSIC is a premier event covering these topics, plus a wide range of other cyber security topics, by bringing together experts from all over the world to create dialogue and collaboration.”
Breaking barriers, building stronger communities
For Bonnie Butlin, ICSIC will provide an important opportunity to explore, from a new perspective, women’s participation and representation within the cyber security professions and within security more broadly. She is Co-Founder of the Security Partners’ Forum and International Coordinator of the Women in Security and Resilience Alliance (WISECRA).
“Women in security have recently begun driving global collaborations in unprecedented ways with new initiatives and structures, and in doing so, are creating new opportunities and resources for security professionals,” she said. “The representation of, and full participation by, women within the security professions and society is being actively re-evaluated among the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors.
“The big data revolution is also testing some traditional academic collaborations while generating and elevating others. These wider scope, inter-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder collaborations, emerging from the data science and cyber security disciplines, are opening up possibilities and debates toward more stable, healthy, and prosperous communities.”
ICSIC takes place Sept. 7 and 8 at the Allstream Centre in downtown Toronto. To learn more and to register, please visit https://icsic.ocmtontario.ca