Canada was the fifth most targeted country for cyber attacks in the world last year, according to the 2023 Blackberry Threat Report. These attacks hit our corporate and public infrastructure, and affect the livelihood and the lives of all Canadians.
Given the increase in threats, it is essential that Canada be able to attract and retain top cybersecurity talent. But how well are we doing at that?
Within that context, we should also be asking ourselves additional questions: How attractive are our cities to cybersecurity professionals? Which places are doing the best job? What can we all learn from that?
The Canadian Cybersecurity Network, Canada’s largest technology member network, in partnership with IT World Canada (ITWC), is looking to find out.
CyberTowns is a new research program which is conducting surveys and leveraging existing government and private sector data to discover which cities in Canada are doing the best job of welcoming and keeping precious cybersecurity talent in our country.
In this age of remote work, where workers have great choices about where they live, it’s even more important that we have a better understanding of what it takes to attract these essential workers. During the pandemic, we heard of a migration to smaller cities with a high quality of life. They offer access to nature, cultural resources, lower taxes, and some are investing in support for cyber security and learning, and in gathering places for tech resources.
Are these investments paying off?
CyberTowns will attempt to answer these and more key questions. The program will not only analyze data, but it will also recognize those municipalities that are most successful in attracting and retaining cybersecurity professionals.
Canadian cities with a population of over 100,000 have been the focus of the initial study, but there are plans to expand this as we move forward.
The CyberTowns awards will be presented during the Canadian Identity Summit (CIS) on April 30 in Ottawa. In addition to the awards, a report will be issued that shares the details of why some cities stood out from the rest, and what are they doing to attract, develop and retain talent in their communities.
Francois Guay, founder of the Canadian Cybersecurity Network, says communities that do this well will have the benefit of being the safest from a cybersecurity point of view. “Canada must attract and develop the best, and keep data in Canada to safeguard against additional threats that are outside of our control.
“We welcome corporate and civic support of this unique venture. Take the survey here: https://canadiancybersecuritynetwork.com/cybertown.”
To join the discussions leading up the awards, join ITWC on Mar. 6 for our next Technicity virtual event – Smart Cities are Safe Cities – where a special panel will discuss these issues.
And mark your calendar for April 30 in Ottawa, where we will present the awards and launch the full report. For those who can’t make it in person, IT World Canada will provide full coverage.