The University of Ottawa and IBM Canada (NYSE: IBM) today announced the official opening of the new . IBM’s first Cyber Range partnership on a Canadian university campus offers highly realistic cyber response training exercises to help businesses and government organizations across the country better prepare for and strengthen defences against real-world cyber threats, including how to plan, respond, manage, contain, and remediate cyberattacks.
The Cyber Range training will also be integrated into undergraduate and graduate courses, while new microprograms and micro-credentials will be offered to private and public sector professionals, including industry certifications (e.g., NSE, IBM, CompTIA, and more). Bringing together some of the university’s top experts from numerous fields – engineering, law, social sciences, and business – the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range will allow for interdisciplinary research and collaboration.
Canadian companies are paying nearly $7 million on average in data breach costs – the third highest in the world, according to . Incident response (IR) training such as that to be delivered through the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range is one of the most effective ways to reduce breach costs. In fact, as set out in the report, globally, organizations saved $ 1.49 million on average in breach costs when they had a trained IR team and regularly tested plans.
“Globally cyberattacks are on the rise. The new uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range will help the university enrich its curriculum and train cyber security experts with the skills and knowledge to debunk serious security breaches,” said Jacques Frémont, President and Vice Chancellor at the University of Ottawa. “Our partnership with IBM Canada will also help fund innovative research in cyber safety, which will help keep governments, organizations and Canadians one step ahead of cyber threats.”
The uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range is the result of a multi-year partnership in 2021 with the goal of developing a more resilient cyber landscape for Canada. IBM pledged more than $21 million in-kind contributions to the University over five years to support the development and operation of the Cyber Range, while uOttawa committed to invest nearly $7 million over the same period.
“The uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range will deliver an extraordinary level of training and experience for Canadian business and government leaders as they face increasingly sophisticated security threats posed by cybercriminals,” said Dave McCann, president of IBM Canada. “This partnership between IBM and the University of Ottawa is a momentous step forward in empowering organizations with the essential skills they need to defend and respond effectively to cyberattacks. In a digital landscape as vast as Canada, the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range has the potential to be a game-changer, offering businesses across the country the experience, knowledge and expertise they need to protect and safeguard their operations."
This is just the third IBM Cyber Range in the world, and IBM Canada’s first university-based range. IBM operates two other Cyber Ranges located in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Bangalore, India.
From classrooms to boardrooms: building better cyber preparedness
Located within the uOttawa Cyber Hub at the University’s STEM Complex, the state-of-the-art facility is designed to help build a strong security culture by guiding everyone from legal and risk, to the C-Suite and SOC leaders through a real-world cyber incident. The uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range provides a protected environment for organizations and governments to participate in scalable and customizable cyber response training exercises that can be tailored to specific security requirements or objectives. By stress testing response plans, participants can uncover potential gaps, and learn best practices based on real-world case studies.
Examples of the types of challenges that can be delivered through the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range include:
Cyber War Game: In this hands-on scenario, participants uncover and investigate a cyberattack led by a cybercriminal organization targeting a fictitious corporation. The Cyber War Game tests the organization’s incident response process, communication and problem solving by positioning technical and business teams in the middle of a realistic cybersecurity incident to see how they would work together to resolve it.
Business Response Challenge: This challenge gives participants the opportunity to collaboratively address and respond to a realistic data breach simulation across technical, legal, and public relations dimensions. In this challenge, IBM X-Force Cyber Range faculty members test and guide participants through a series of cyberattack scenarios, exposing gaps in response plans.
Inside the Mind of a Hacker: This exercise is designed to help participants understand the viewpoint of an attacker by providing a demonstration of the types of tools adversaries are using today and a look into the scope of current attacks. The session includes relevant insights from IBM Security threat intelligence to help participants stay informed and adaptive to the latest cyber threats.
The unique academic/industry partnership between IBM and the University of Ottawa will help create the next generation of experts by engaging with youth, uniting the cyber community, and by attracting a diverse talent pool.
About IBM Canada
About the University of Ottawa
Rooted in our bilingual and Francophone DNA, we are evolving at the intersection of many cultures. Located in Canada’s capital, a gateway to the world, we possess a unique platform to respond with energy, creativity, and scale to the global challenges and opportunities our world offers. With an active focus on equity, diversity, and inclusion, we will thrive like never before.
Already in this new millennium we have rocketed into the top 1% of the world’s 20,000+ universities with our research reputation. We have doubled our enrolment with students from across Canada, as well as from 147 countries around the globe, choosing uOttawa.
Our international influence is surging, with institutional partnerships in Europe, Asia and Africa multiplying rapidly – including membership in the U7 Alliance of world universities.
Meanwhile our research and programs in Cybertech, health, science, social justice, sustainability, education, and entrepreneurship continue to impact communities across Canada and around the globe every single day. Our scientists and academicians are driving progress in ethical AI and technology development, in clean growth and innovation and in action- oriented research on aging, active and healthy living, lifelong learning, and well-being, to name but a few.
At uOttawa we are driven by the urge to challenge the status quo, the will to make an impact, and the ambition to become a catalyst for change.