Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security was established on October 1, 2018.
Take a look at the new website for the Cyber Centre.

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Overview

The Government of Canada believes that a safe and secure cyber space is important for the security, stability and prosperity of the country. Digital technologies and the internet are increasingly important to innovation and economic growth, and good cyber security is critical to Canada’s competitiveness, economic stability, and long-term prosperity.

Cyber defence is a team sport. Government, industry, academia, and civil society must all work together to strengthen Canada’s cyber security. The 2016 Cyber Review Consultations, led by Public Safety, identified some of the key issues that require governmental changes:

  • Clear points of accountability on cyber security;
  • Better coordination and collaboration between departments;
  • Greater clarity on how and with whom the private sector should engage; and
  • Greater federal leadership on cyber security.

Consolidating the key cyber security operational units of the Government of Canada into a single new cyber security centre responds to the call from the Cyber Review for more focused federal management on cyber security issues.

As a key initiative of the 2018 National Cyber Security Strategy the cyber security functions from three departments will be united to establish the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (the Cyber Centre) as one unique, innovative, and forward-looking organization, as part of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE).

The creation of the Cyber Centre is a major milestone in the way the government approaches cyber security.

Establishing the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

The Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre) will offer a unified approach to cyber security that will build on Canada’s already world-class cyber security expertise.  It will centralize cyber innovation and collaboration for the country and be a place where private and public sectors work side-by-side to solve Canada’s most complex cyber issues. The Cyber Centre will be a single unified source of expert advice, guidance, services and support on cyber security for government, critical infrastructure owners and operations, the private sector and the Canadian public. With the Cyber Centre, Canadians will have a clear and trusted place to turn to for cyber security issues.

Specifically, the Cyber Centre will enable faster, better-coordinated, and more focused Government responses to cyber threats. It will provide quicker, more effective information flow between the Government and private sector partners. The Cyber Centre will provide a clear national point of contact for authoritative cyber security advice and assistance. The Cyber Centre will also provide enhanced public awareness and education about cyber security, will improve cyber security skills sharing and information, and will provide more regular cyber threat assessments to better inform decision-making and inform federal policy on cyber security. As an outward-facing organization, the Cyber Centre will welcome collaborative partnerships and projects with the Canadian cyber security sector.

The Cyber Centre will focus on:

  • Informing Canada and Canadians about cyber security matters, as a single, clear, trusted source of information on cyber security for Canadians and businesses
  • Protecting Canadians’ cyber security interests through targeted advice, specific guidance, direct hands-on assistance, and strong collaborative partnerships
  • Developing and sharing specialized cyber defence technologies and tools resulting in better cyber security for all Canadians
  • Defending cyber systems, including government systems, by deploying sophisticated cyber defence solutions
  • Acting as the operational leader and government spokesperson during cyber security events

Ultimately, the Cyber Centre will mean stronger cyber protection, defence, and security for the Government, the private sector, and all Canadians.

Skilled and Talented Employees

The Cyber Centre will unite approximately 750 employees from existing cyber security operations units at Public Safety Canada, Shared Services Canada, and the Communications Security Establishment into one unique, innovative, and forward-looking organization, as part of CSE.

  • From Public Safety Canada, all functions of the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre (CCIRC) and the Get Cyber Safe public awareness campaign will be transferred to the Cyber Centre. 
  • From Shared Services Canada, some of the functions of the Security Operations Centre will be transferred to the Cyber Centre. 
  • From CSE, the entire IT Security branch will be transformed to become part of the Cyber Centre.

Cyber Centre teams will leverage the strengths and special tools from each of CSE, Public Safety Canada, and Shared Services Canada, and work more effectively together.  They will look for places where best practices and creative and innovative approaches are at work.  They will draw from the strengths and use the best of what the Cyber Centre has to create one unified source of cyber expertise in Canada.   

What will the Cyber Centre do for the Federal Government?

The Cyber Centre will be the primary centralized voice and resource for senior leadership in Government on cyber security operational matters, including incident management, situational awareness, and technical advice and guidance. It will defend Government of Canada systems, and respond to significant cyber security threats and incidents to reduce and mitigate harm to the Federal Government. It will also be a central resource for Government of Canada departments in support of their sector lead roles by sharing consistent and well-informed cyber security advice and guidance as well as technical capabilities.

The Centre will be a single authoritative source of technical cyber security expertise to support lead agencies in the delivery of their core functions, including collaborating with the RCMP on its planned National Cybercrime Coordination Unit and its law enforcement efforts to address cybercrime. It will also improve the effectiveness of the monitoring and response capabilities in defending Government of Canada systems against cyber threats.

What will the Cyber Centre do for external partners?

The Cyber Centre will be the primary Federal Government point of contact on cyber security operational matters, including incident response and coordination. It will monitor the cyber security environment and use that understanding to identify, address, and share knowledge about systemic threats, risks and vulnerabilities. The Cyber Centre will reduce cyber security risks to Canada by providing expert advice, guidance, services and support quickly and efficiently.

What will the Cyber Centre do for Canadians?

The Cyber Centre will inform, communicate, and educate Canadians about cyber security issues by providing a clear, trusted, credible voice backed up by unique expertise and insight.  The Cyber Centre will act as the operational leader and government spokesperson during cyber security events and will provide leadership on national cyber security issues.

New Building

The Cyber Centre will be an outward-facing organization that welcomes industry partners for collaborative work on the toughest cyber security challenges Canada is facing. The vision for the Cyber Centre as an open organization requires a separate, external-facing, publicly-accessible facility located within the national capital region. 

The Cyber Centre within the Communications Security Establishment (CSE)

The Communications Security Establishment (CSE) has helped protect the security of Canadians for over 70 years by providing critical foreign intelligence about threats to national security and deployed military forces, and by protecting Canada’s most sensitive information and information systems.

CSE was chosen as the department where the consolidation of cyber security operational talent could happen most effectively. CSE already possesses the necessary legal authorities, the largest portion of the existing infrastructure and personnel, and the required privacy protection mechanisms to successfully deliver the Cyber Centre. 

Milestones

  • February 27, 2018: Announcement of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security in Budget 2018
  • June 2018 : Announcement of the first head of the Cyber Centre
  • Fall 2018: Initial Operational Capability of the Cyber Centre
  • Summer 2019: Opening of the new facility for the Cyber Centre
  • Spring 2020: Full Operational Capability for the Cyber Centre