Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

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NETWORK LEGACY: Smart Cybersecurity Network - SERENE-RISC

Funded 2014-21

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Smart Cybersecurity Network

NCE contributions
$2.8 million

Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec

A national partnership to protect Canadians online

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, government agencies, financial institutions, service providers, security organizations and SMEs design and implement more integrated and effective cybersecurity solutions.

The Smart Cybersecurity Network (SERENE-RISC) brought together academics from the computer and social sciences, as well as public and private partners to empower all to reduce cybersecurity risks through knowledge and to promote the most effective strategies and to protect Canada’s digital infrastructure. SERENE-RISC partners included more than 40 academics from universities across Canada and dozens of public and private organizations. Together, they increased the 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 were being widely shared with policy-makers, company executives, cybersecurity professionals and the general public.

Among the results

  • 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 for the general public.
  • The SERENE-RISC Digest provides a multidisciplinary update on cybersecurity through leading-edge research summaries. With help from national and international collaborators, SERENE-RISC disseminated the Digest to hundreds of decision-makers, researchers and professionals around the world.
  • Konnect, SERENE-RISC’s online knowledge-sharing platform, gives academics, executives, professionals and students open access to the latest cybersecurity research, including research summaries, documents and original videos.
  • SERENE-RISC’s national and regional events were 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.