By Sera Wong
With that in mind, Ryerson University announced on Thursday that they plan to launch Cybersecurity Catalyst— A National Centre for Cybersecurity. The school plans to build the centre on Ryerson’s Brampton campus, which is set to open in 2022.
“Part of the mandate of the Cybersecurity Catalyst is to help deliver highly trained and certified professionals into the marketplace,” says their interim executive director Charles Finlay. “And that’s obviously something very important for Ryerson and it’s very important for Canada.”
Cybersecurity Catalyst will have four areas of focus: training and certification, research and development, commercial incubation, and public education and policy.
Finlay says that there is a extremely heavy demand for cybersecurity professionals as businesses continue to move online.
Though Cybersecurity Catalyst will be opening in Brampton, operations of the centre will also be taking place on the Toronto campus. The centre plans to start offering training and certification for cybersecurity and programming within the next six months.
Finlay notes that one of the main goals of Cybersecurity Catalyst is to form partnerships with the community around Ryerson, as well as with the provincial and federal government.
“There’s great research and development going on in different faculties [at Ryerson],” he said. “Computer science, engineering, we are looking forward to partnering with all of these areas of the community.”
The centre also aims to aid entrepreneurs, established companies, and start-ups in developing advanced cybersecurity strategies. By making many partnerships, Finlay said that Cybersecurity Catalyst can contribute to the conversation surrounding the importance of security and technology.
“As we reflect on the 2016 election in the United States, we understand what an important role social media and technology plays in our democracy,” said Finlay, adding that Canada should have a number of people working towards this issue.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2012 over 9,000 incidents of Cybercrime were reported to the police. Just over half of those incidents had to do with fraud. In addition, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that global annual cybercrime costs will reach $6 trillion USD by 2021.
“Cybersecurity is and will be a major area of economic activity,” he said. “And so it aligns with the traditions of Ryerson in preparing people to do great work in the community. It’s rooted in Ryerson traditions, but it’s very much future-focused.”