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Smart Cybersecurity Network - SERENE-RISC

$1.6 million for 2014-18
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Smart Cybersecurity Network

Number of partners

Partner contributions

Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec

Scientific Director
Benoît Dupont Benoît Dupont

Board chair
Jim Brookes Jim Brookes

A new national partnership to protect Canadians online

The opportunity

Digital crime represented roughly one-third of all property crimes in 2009. Yet a recent survey of Canadian companies shows the majority are ill-equipped to assess their risk level and respond in the event of a cyber-attack. Fortunately, there is a growing body of knowledge on the nature of online risks and how best to respond to them. A joint national effort is needed to fuse and mobilize existing but dispersed knowledge to help users such as critical infrastructure operators, service providers and security organizations design and implement more integrated and effective cybersecurity solutions.

How SERENE-RISC is seizing the opportunity

The Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) brings together academics from the computer and social sciences, government agencies responsible for implementing cybersecurity (such as the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Communications Security Establishment, Defence Research and Development Canada, Ontario Provincial Police and Public Safety Canada) and companies that protect critical infrastructure and telecommunications business (such as CGI, Bell, ESET, GoSecure, IAmI, Thales, SecDev and Symantec). Together, they increase SERENE-RISC’s partners’ capacity to provide a safer online experience, protect privacy and help Canada’s digital economy continue to grow. Proven research, best practices and other actionable information are being widely shared with policy-makers, company executives, cybersecurity professionals and the general public.

Among the results

  • Thanks to funding from Public Safety Canada, SERENE-RISC developed CYBERSEC 101: Introduction to cybersecurity, an online and in-person training offered in collaboration with public libraries across the country to help Canadians adopt best practices in online security. Complementary resources including videos, glossaries and quizzes are available online.
  • The SERENE-RISC Digest provides a multidisciplinary update on cybersecurity through leading-edge research summaries. With help from national and international collaborators, SERENE-RISC disseminates the Digest to hundreds of decision-makers, researchers and professionals around the world.
  • Konnect, SERENE-RISC’s online knowledge-sharing platform, gives network partners, co-investigators and affiliates access to the latest cybersecurity research, including more than 700 documents and videos. The platform has received funding from Public Safety Canada to triple the number of users, giving access to new graduate students and federal and provincial public servants.
  • SERENE-RISC’s biannual workshops are attended by hundreds of participants each year, bringing together industry, government and academia to share perspectives on pressing cybersecurity issues and to determine how to work together to address them.

Connect with SERENE-RISC


Libraries to provide frontline defence against cyber threats
April 7, 2016
Public Safety Canada and the Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) are teaming up to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing online security: persuading Canadians to adopt practices that have been scientifically proven to work. Read more
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Sébastien Gambs - La cybersécurité est-elle possible?
April 5, 2017
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Peter Sloly - Smart Policing for Smart Cities
March 27, 2017
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Introduction to cybersecurity - Online training
October 21, 2016
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Bitcoin: An impartial assessment of its use and potential for cybercrime
July 18, 2016