Carleton University to head international cyber network

Two Canadian universities and a technology accelerator are among 14 organizations from 10 countries that have formed a network to increase the spread of cyber security knowledge

Called Global EPIC – short for “ecosystems partnership in innovation and cyber security” – it includes Carleton University, the University of New Brunswick and Surrey, B.C.’s Innovation Boulevard in an attempt to take the fight against cyber attackers to a new level.

The organization was announced Tuesday at the European Cybersecurity Forum in Krakow, Poland.

Those that have so far joined “have recognized working in silos is not doing the job, and there’s a lot of benefit to be had if they could work in a structured way on a global basis,” Daniel Craigen, director of Carleton’s Global Cybersecurity Resource and founding president of Global EPIC, said in a phone interview from Krakow.

“What we’re building is a global community of cyber-security based innovation ecosystems.”

“We need to develop a science of cyber security … We need something that’s multi-disciplinary — we have to be thinking of sociology, psychology, economics. Our adversaries, many of them criminals, are well versed in business knowledge: They’re interested in return on investment, they’re very agile and if start modeling on the business perspective maybe we have a better chance of identifying where their weaknesses are and doing something to them.”

One thing the network will be used for is sharing work on projects members are working on. For example, Carleton is in the early stages of developing an open source security operations centre small businesses can subscribe to. Another goal is to share datasets, localized social networking feeds and journal articles, as well as spur research.

Craigen admits Global EPIC is still in an experimental phase. While its Web site lists 10 goals, these could change before its first governance body is appointed next year.
Other initial members are Northern Ireland’s Queen’s University; Israel’s Cyberspark innovation centre; bwtech, a Baltimore incubator; the CyberTech Network of San Diego; Cyber Wales; La Fundación INCYDE of Madrid; Belgium’s LSEC; Italy’s Politecnico di Torino; Costa Rica’s Procomer; The Hague Security Delta in the Netherlands); and the Kosciuszko Institute in Poland.

The goal is to add another 11 by the end of 2018. “If each of these (25) ecosystems brings in a minimum of 20 organizations with them, that’s 500 organizations around the world that have multiple number of experts that small [cyber] companies potentially could access for free. They could be mentored remotely, they might look for investment, might find someone who could co-create with them.”

“We are laying the foundations of the platform which will bring innovators to the forefront of the fight against emerging cyber-challenges,” Izabela Albrycht, chair of the Kosciuszko Institute, said in a statement and the CYBERSEC Organizing Committee. “Building a global knowledge-sharing community with cross-sectorial stakeholders is a must in the face of rapidly expanding cyber-threats.”
CyberSpark CEO Roni Zehavi said the organization “commences a new era, on which the being and doing at the local level would turn into a sustainable and well-orchestrated operation at the global one.”

“We’re all in agreement there’s a lot of positive aspects in using high technology to improve society, but it is threatened by what is going on in the CS world these days,” said Craigen. “Every single day there’s a successful attack of some sort…. If keeps going the promise of high tech is in danger because the general public will start losing trust.”

“What we want to do is bring the complimentary talent we have and try to work together to make a difference.”
Carleton’s Global Cybersecurity Resource Program gives entrepreneurs cybersecurity expertise.

The idea for the network came after Carleton’s Technology Innovation Management program co-hosted an international conference in April on linking what they call cyber security ecosystems, which included Zehavi of Cyberspark.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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