The Head of the Cyber Centre welcomes participants to the first virtual GeekWeek

I am excited to announce the kick-off for GeekWeek 7, the latest edition of the Cyber Centre’s annual cyber security workshop. Each year, we bring together international experts from government, the private sector and academia to work on common cyber problems facing the cyber security community.

This year, GeekWeek welcomes more than 170 participants from seven countries to its seventh edition. But as with most events in the world today, this GeekWeek will look a little different from previous years – as an exclusively virtual workshop.

This isn’t our first virtual event. This past summer we held GeekSeek, a virtual capture the flag for students. The event was a resounding success, attracting nearly 200 bright and innovative students from across Canada. GeekSeek gave us the opportunity to host a complex event online, and we look forward to applying what we learned at GeekSeek to make GeekWeek just as successful.

But GeekWeek isn’t about showing off how well we can run an online event. It’s about bringing together a diverse group of experts to tackle some of the world's most difficult cyber security challenges. This collaboration and innovation has brought about valuable solutions for cyber-related industries. A big part of how we protect Canada’s digital landscape is by collaborating with our partners and participating in events like GeekWeek play a critical role in that.

Previous GeekWeek editions have attracted hundreds of participants from more than six countries in different sectors, public and private. These talented individuals have tackled issues that directly impact Canadians, such as improving the prevention of identity impersonation in phishing emails and developing analytics to better secure cloud infrastructures.

The final forms of these projects are often shared with others, including the public. In fact, a team at a previous GeekWeek did groundwork that contributed to the development of the Cyber Centre’s threat intelligence feed for the CIRA Canadian Shield app.

The list of projects at this year’s GeekWeek is comprehensive. Some examples include:

  • developing better analytics to identify phishing campaigns;
  • determining how organizations can better share network information; and
  • working with cloud providers to improve the security of cloud in Canada.

These projects – like everything else being worked on at GeekWeek – demonstrate how the Cyber Centre works side-by-side with the public and private sectors. I am so proud that GeekWeek 7 is happening, and that we are able to continue building on work that helps our partners and all Canadians.

Scott Jones
Head, Canadian Centre for Cyber Security

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