Cyber Security Centre of Excellence boots up

MITT, province join forces with Israeli firm

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The Manitoba government is investing $550,000 to support the creation of a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in partnership with the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT).

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/12/2019 (1136 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The Manitoba government is investing $550,000 to support the creation of a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence in partnership with the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology (MITT).

The funding will be spread over four years and will help MITT leverage further investment from the private sector, which is already well underway.

The idea is that the centre of excellence will become a key training ground for the highly in-demand occupation of cybersecurity technician, leading to more skilled young people in the market and more job creation.

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press The new Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, a collaboration between the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology and Check Point Software Technologies, will be established by 2022.

MITT and the province are partnering with Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., a Tel Aviv company that is a global leader in cybersecurity.

Ray Karasevich, president and CEO of MITT, said the first two years of the funding will help ramp up the initiative and hire an executive director and that it will be established by 2022.

He said the goal is to reach about $4 million in additional investment in the lab by then.

MITT has been working with Check Point for more than three years already, and the company has invested more than $1.2 million in MITT through technology support as well as subject-matter experts who have visited often to train staff and students.

Robert Falzon, head of engineering for Check Point in Canada, said the centre of excellence is a big deal.

“This is a big point of interest for us,” Falzon said. “The idea is to provide young people with exposure to real-world activities using the technology that they will experience in the workforce later when they start their careers.”

MITT already has a two-year program called Cyber Defence and Cloud Administration and partners with the University of Winnipeg on a two-year network-security program.

MITT students will start training on things like threat hunting and ethical hacking and will be able to use a number of tools being used in what is a critical and rapidly growing part of the IT sector.

Falzon said cybersecurity threats are never-ending.

“One of the biggest challenges is awareness,” he said. “It is shocking for me today that there are still organizations out there that do not have an accountable person for security. You are going to run into a challenge of cybersecurity at some point if you are a business owner.”

Mike Sudoma / Winnipeg Free Press Ray Karasevich, president and CEO of MITT, discusses the importance of cybersecurity and the plans for new training in the field during a press conference held Tuesday.

Falzon said Check Point sees more indicators of compromise on a daily basis than Google gets search queries in a day.

“It is incredible, the number of events that are taking place in public that most people are not aware of,” he said.

Economic Development and Training Minister Ralph Eichler said the fact that the province is funding this initiative in an indication of the seriousness of the issue.

“We want our students to have the skill set to get to the next level,” he said.

“We want the jobs here in Manitoba. We can set the stage for others to follow.”

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Martin Cash

Martin Cash
Reporter

Martin Cash has been writing a column and business news at the Free Press since 1989. Over those years he’s written through a number of business cycles and the rise and fall (and rise) in fortunes of many local businesses.

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