Canadian Cyber Security Strategy

The Canadian cyber security strategy aims to ensure security and protect the freedoms and rights of individual users and businesses. The goal is to protect users from cyber threats such as theft of financial and personal information, trade secrets, and intellectual property.

Main Focus Areas

The main focus areas of the strategy include leadership and collaboration, cyber innovation, and security, and resilience. The government partners with private sector players and the territorial and provincial governments to improve cybersecurity and protect critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure protection refers to measures aiming to protect infrastructure in critical sectors such as financial services, energy sector, emergency services sector, and defense industrial base sector. Other critical infrastructure sectors include dams, critical manufacturing, communications, commercial facilities, healthcare and public health, and nuclear reactors and materials. The cyber security strategy also aims to protect the security and safety of all citizens and to enhance the country’s cyber resilience. Cyber innovation is another focus area to encourage innovation and the development of cyber knowledge and skills.

The strategy is based on three pillars – protecting government systems and networks, ensuring the security of citizens online, and protecting cyber systems in collaboration with the territorial and provincial authorities and critical infrastructure operators and owners.

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

The centre has been established under the Canadian Cyber Security Strategy to offer services and advice to critical infrastructure operators and owners, the government, private sector players, and individuals. Several bodies have joined efforts in establishing the centre, including the Communications Security Establishment, Shared Services Canada, and Public Safety Canada. Professionals across different fields work at the centre, including scientists, researchers, developers, and even hackers. The establishment collaborates with different partners such as the law enforcement authorities, academic institutions and researchers, the government of Canada, and citizens. The centre also runs different programs such as the Canadian Industrial TEMPEST Program and the Cryptographic Module Validation Program. One of the main goals of the Center for Cyber Security is to protect critical infrastructure sectors such as transportation, government, utilities and energy, and water and food. The center also works in collaboration with different partners to improve Canada’s cyber security, among which the Build in Canada Innovation Program and the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.


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Public Safety Canada also works to strengthen Canada’s cybersecurity capabilities by partnering with provincial and territorial organizations such as Emergency Management in Nunavut and the Provincial Emergency Program in British Columbia. The department also cooperates with international partners such as the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

Education and Learning Opportunities

GetCyberSafe is a national campaign that aims to increase public awareness and educate the public about cyber threats and ways to protect oneself. Measures include disabling cameras and microphones when not using them, becoming familiar with the privacy policy of apps, turning off geolocation, and others. The Learning and Innovation Hub is a resource available through the Center for Cyber Security, offered as an educational tool for government officials, academics, and industry players. Professionals are offered advice and guidance on cybersecurity training and courses on IT security risk management, threats to privacy, and measures to reduce risks and threats.


Held on an annual basis in October, the Cybersecurity Awareness Month aims to increase awareness of cybersecurity. The main themes of the campaign are digital literacy, buying applications and devices from reliable sources, and the importance of keeping correspondence, photos, bank details like credit card information, and other personal information safe.

IT Security Specialists

IT security specialists are in high demand in Canada due to cyber threats that can affect networks, systems, devices, and data. The main actors involved in cybercrime include terrorist groups, hacktivists, cybercriminals, and nation-states. In a world of increasing globalization, security specialists help protect systems and data against destruction, modification, and unauthorized access.

IT Security Jobs in Demand

Toronto, Montreal, and Ottawa are some of the world’s fastest growing markets where tech jobs are in high demand. Employers are looking to hire system administrators, cyber security analysts, and IT security operations analysts.

System Administrator

System or network administrators are tasked with configuring and installing networks, hardware, and software and managing, upgrading, and maintaining networks. They also troubleshoot outages, verify and create backups, and administrate malware protection software, databases, and firewalls. The average salary of network administrators in Canada stands at around $58,800, and depends on factors such as employer, location, and experience. CGI Group Inc., for example, pays about $51,000 on average while Laura Canada pays about $49,000.

IT Security Analyst

Information security analysts are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to protect systems and networks. They monitor for and investigate security incidents and use and install software such as data encryption programs and firewalls. IT security analysts also conduct tests, fix vulnerabilities, and implement and upgrade security controls. They install countermeasures and tools, perform security assessments and risk analysis, and monitor prevention, intrusion detection, and network systems. The salary of IT security analysts ranges from about $58,000 to $117,000, and the average salary stands at $79,990. Analysts work as directors, information security managers, security engineers and architects, and compliance managers. IT security managers are paid about $101,290, and the pay ranges from $78,000 to $128,000. Information security managers can choose from different career paths such as chief information security officer and penetration tester.

Security Operations Analyst

Security operations analysts are tasked with assessing incidents and breaches, troubleshooting and configuring infrastructure, and monitoring security controls. They maintain and operate tools such as Splunk Enterprise and Nessus Security Manager and respond to online and phone requests for assistance. Additional responsibilities include reporting and identifying real time attacks, analyzing the severity of incidents, and advising on incident prevention. Security operations analysts are paid between $46,000 and $96,000, and the average salary is around $68.000. Career paths for graduates include security analyst, information security manager, and information security specialist.

University Programs

Universities and colleges that offer certificates and programs in IT Security include Fanshawe College, Centennial College, and the University of Toronto. Fanshawe College features a Graduate Certificate in Information Security Management with a focus on security alerts, access controls, security policies, vulnerability testing, and risk analysis. Georgian College offers a Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Security to students interested in working as security analysts, technicians, and network administrators. Students enrolled in the program gain understanding of hacking exploits and techniques, digital forensics, disaster recovery, contingency planning, and Linux and Windows system security. Finally, the University of Toronto offers a BSc in Information Security to help students learn about computer and information security. Students take courses such as computer networks, operating systems design and implementation, computer security, and computer forensics. Graduates gain employment as computer systems specialists, systems architects, computer network specialists, and operations research analysts.

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