Connect to world-class cybersecurity initiatives for Canada’s research and education sector

Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP)

In response to the need identified by Canada’s research and education community for national coordination and alignment of cybersecurity efforts, the Government of Canada funds CANARIE to invest in initiatives that will strengthen the whole sector with advanced technologies, improved processes, and broadened expertise. These initiatives are delivered to eligible organizations through provincial and territorial partners in Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN), including through ORION in Ontario.

Participate in the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP)

Why participate in the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program?

  • Because security is a team sport; when we’re each more secure, the entire sector is more secure
  • The breadth and depth of threat data and analysis gives your team actionable, timely, relevant intelligence
  • Unique access to a national community of security experts in research and education (R&E)
  • The opportunity to strengthen your team’s security capacity and expertise
    • Integrated training and support
    • Ability to draw on a national pool of R&E security experts
  • Opportunities to contribute your own expertise and help shape the evolution of initiatives that strengthen the whole sector

Which organizations are eligible to participate?

All ORION-connected post-secondary institutions, non-federal research facilities and centres of excellence are eligible to access the cybersecurity program initiatives and deploy them at no cost. For more information about eligibility, please see CANARIE’s website.

How do we participate in the CIP?

There are three steps to participate in the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP):

  1. ORION has contacted all eligible organizations and invited them to participate in the CIP by submitting a short participation form to CANARIE.
  2. If eligible, your participation form will lead to an agreement between your organization and CANARIE called the Organization Cybersecurity Collaboration Agreement (OCCA).
  3. Once this agreement has been signed by both parties, your organization’s participation and eligibility in the CIP is confirmed.

You can participate at any time, but your organization can only access funded initiatives once an OCCA is executed. The sooner you participate in the CIP, the longer your organization will be able to benefit from the funded initiatives.

How do we access the cybersecurity initiatives funded through the CIP?

Once you’ve signed your OCCA, you can access available initiatives. ORION will contact all eligible organizations with instructions for accessing available initiatives.

Funded Initiatives

A multi-stakeholder Cybersecurity Advisory Committee defines and prioritizes the initiatives that will be funded and supported through the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP).

The first four initiatives that are available to CIP participants:

The CIRA D-ZONE DNS Firewall logo

Funding, implementation, support and training across 200+ eligible organizations connected to the NREN. CIRA D-Zone DNS Firewall is an easy-to-implement, powerful, external network protection layer that shields organizations from malware. As a secondary service, organizations are able to improve network performance and redundancy while continuing to manage the primary DNS safe behind a corporate firewall or with the vendor of their choice.

Funding participation, support, and training to 200+ eligible organizations connected to the NREN. CanSSOC’s Threat Feed platform synthesizes and triages multiple threat-intelligence information sources into a single feed, curated by CanSSOC analysts to suit the needs of a member’s relevant sector, enabling institutions and organizations to process and act upon threat intelligence information more efficiently.

Intrusion Detection System (JSP) logo

Funding implementation, support, and training for all eligible organizations not yet enrolled in the Joint Security Project (JSP). The Intrusion Detection System (IDS) generates accurate and timely threat intelligence, tracks threat actors and threat patterns, benchmarks the security posture of partners in the education network, and performs risk assessment and mitigation to increase the awareness of potential security issues and vulnerabilities at the institutional level.

The CUCCIO Benchmarking Project promotes effective cybersecurity practices in the higher-education sector by providing benchmarking in the form of ongoing assessments, online surveys and discussions to monitor, evaluate and assess cyber risk. The CUCCIO Benchmarking Project is available to all 200+ organizations connected to the NREN that are currently enrolled in CANARIE’s Cybersecurity Initiatives Program.

All initiatives funded through the CIP are intended to integrate with each other to strengthen cybersecurity locally and in turn the overall security of the whole sector.



Our team is here to help you.

Questions about the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program

For more information about funded initiatives and eligibility in Ontario, please contact our Community Development team:

Questions specific to CIP applications and/or Organization Cybersecurity Collaboration Agreement (OCCA)

Please contact Cybersecurity Program Operations

If you have questions about ORION cybersecurity services, or how to join the ORION Network, please contact:

Featured Press Release:Announcing a New, National Program to Fund Cybersecurity Initiatives Across Canada’s Research and Education Sector

Toronto, November 30, 2020 – ORION is pleased to announce the launch of a new, collaborative national program that will fund cybersecurity initiatives across Canada’s research and education (R&E) sector.

Read more See all Press Releases