On November 25, 2022, ORION hosted the third annual ON-CHEC Day. The focus this year was discussing how our community can navigate the future and be leaders in change. The Ontario Cybersecurity Higher Education Consortium (ON-CHEC) program is currently in its fourth year and is continuing to evolve and foster an environment for collaboration. With 41 higher education institutions across Ontario and Nova Scotia, the ON-CHEC program provides ongoing cybersecurity support, collaborative events, and programs to all our members.
ON-CHEC Day is an opportunity for all institutions to come together to share their challenges, discuss innovative ideas, and learn from one another.
Presentations and Panels
Career Paths and Post-Secondary Education for Women in Cybersecurity Part Two
- Panelists: Michelle Moore (Humber College), Nela Petkovic (Wilfrid Laurier University), Vanessa Kwende (Humber College), Sue McGlashan (University of Toronto)
- How to close the gender gap in cybersecurity and the challenges women face working in STEM in higher education.
- Panelists: John Levay (Niagara College), Todd Williams (Saint Mary’s University), Peter Gilbert (Fanshawe College), Paul Inkila (Confederation College), Gary Doucette (Acadia University), Nela Petkovic (Wilfrid Laurier University)
- CIOs in Ontario and Nova Scotia discuss challenges in higher education and cybersecurity trends to be aware of.
Recruiting and Retaining Cybersecurity Talent in the Higher Education Sector
- Panelists: Terrence Shipclark (Humber College), Rushmi Hasham (Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst)
- Guidance on how to recruit and retain cybersecurity talent in higher education while also being inclusive.
Innovative Approaches to Raising Security Awareness Culture in Higher Education
- Presenters: Mudit Mogla (CIRA), Ryo Nakane (CIRA)
- A presentation from CIRA on how institutions can raise security awareness culture and better protect their organizations.
Three main reoccurring themes
1. Cybersecurity requires all voices at the table
Addressing the talent shortage in cybersecurity starts with creating an environment where those with non-technical backgrounds can be trained and diversity and inclusion are promoted. Vanessa Kwende, Security Business Analyst at Humber College, explains that “diverse perspectives lead to better decision-making and problem-solving.”
2. Support your teams and collaborate
As we embark on a new journey after the pandemic, it’s important that leaders in higher education act as mentors for their team members. Listening to and supporting them through challenges only increases collaboration. Peter Gilbert, CIO at Fanshawe College, shares that “we need to understand what success means for (different teams) and how we can support them.”
3. Everyone has a role to play in security awareness
As institutions work to create security awareness within their organization, it’s often ignored or labelled as an ‘IT issue.’ However, security awareness is crucial to all teams within an organization. Ryo Nakane, the Territory Account Manager for Ontario at CIRA, explains that “an emphasis on educating individuals to protect their organization has come to the forefront with hybrid work and learning.” ON-CHEC provides the space for institutions to share how they have been able to create security awareness among their teams.
Navigating the future with ON-CHEC means all our members come together to collaborate and share their challenges and find solutions that work. Through our cybersecurity support, working groups, and monthly webinars, we have cultivated a community that can depend on and learn from one another. From ON-CHEC Day, we’ve heard how the future of cybersecurity in higher education is reliant on collaboration and providing a space for all voices to be heard.