When it comes to cybersecurity, data protection is just the beginning

Posted on November 01, 2021 | By Richard Woodbury | 0 Comments

Yes, cybersecurity is about protecting data. But you need more than a firewall to be truly secure.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures, a cybereconomy researcher and publisher, cybercrime is worth an estimated $6 trillion U.S. in 2021 and it’s expected to grow 15 per cent a year. By 2025, it’s predicted to be a $10.5 trillion U.S. global business. With stunning projections like that, it’s no wonder so much emphasis is being placed on cybersecurity these days. In this article, Atlantic Business Magazine takes a look at some Atlantic Canada-grown security innovations and how they are protecting people, property and privacy.

 

Everything is cybersecurity

“I think we’re seeing the evolution of all security is cybersecurity because so many systems depend upon the internet and that whole world for how they do business and transfer information,” said Colin Stephenson, the executive director of DEFSEC Atlantic, a networking event for the aerospace, defence and security industries.

This year’s event is scheduled to attract 1,000 people in-person and take place in Halifax from Oct. 5-7, one day after Nova Scotia was (at press time) expected to reach the final phase of its COVID-19 reopening plan.

While DEFSEC Atlantic started as a supply chain event, it’s morphed into a trade show and defence procurement conference, as well as other things. “We’ve had several cybersecurity focuses over the years and we can see that trend increasing,” said Stephenson. “There’s no doubt cybersecurity is a part of our show now and that will increase in the future.”

Unsure of what to expect for this year’s event, Stephenson said organizers planned three options: an in-person event, fully virtual or a hybrid model. Thanks to the planned reopening, they settled on a hybrid model. “We’re seeing the need for cybersecurity even in our own production, let alone in the industry that supports the procurement system,” he said.

While the event allows small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) to connect with larger contractors, it’s also an opportunity for SMEs to align with other Atlantic Canadian SMEs.

 

Filling the gaps

Ali Ghorbani is the director of the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity in Fredericton. A serial entrepreneur, his latest company is Cydarien, a three-person company that uses “fuzz testing” to run tens of millions of automated tests looking for software security loopholes.

Traditionally, software testing was focused on evaluating functionality, not potential security risks. Ghorbani decided Cydarien would focus on putting software in malicious environments and use fuzz testing to see how the software responds. “The large firms, they have testing in-shop, so that’s a good thing for them,” he said. “The not-so-good thing is they don’t provide that service to others, so we come in as a way of providing this service to those who don’t have or cannot afford to have a testing team.”

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