Rajiv Gupta’s remarks on the end of GeekWeek’s first virtual edition

2020 has been a year of change for everyone. At the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (Cyber Centre), our work has adapted to this changing environment in many ways. This included quickly turning GeekWeek 7 into a virtual event.

GeekWeek is one of the Cyber Centre’s best opportunities to collaborate with our partners. And thanks to the ingenuity of its organizers and participants, we were able to pull off another successful edition this year in our new virtual environment.

Each year, participants from government, private sector and academia gather to work side-by-side to develop innovative solutions to major cybersecurity problems. In its new virtual format, GeekWeek 7 featured an impressive 200 participants from seven countries representing 64 organizations.

These participants worked together around the clock, even though they were amazingly based across seven time zones!

The energetic chatter and collaboration that is so important to GeekWeek did not stop this year. Instead, it moved to Slack, where teams stayed engaged by constantly chatting, sharing work, asking questions, and even showcasing funny images like their pets and work set ups (check out our last blog to learn more about how the teams worked virtually).

GeekWeek’s closing ceremony featured speeches from the Minister of National Defence and the Associate Head of the Cyber Centre, André Boucher. The four teams showcased their work on the following breakthroughs, which included:

  • Collaborating with our telecommunications partners to share expertise and improve the security of mobile communications and emerging cloud technologies
  • Securing the increasing number of internet-connected devices and systems
  • Identifying and analyzing malicious cyber threats, such as phishing URLs and spam
  • Better understanding how threat actors are using virtual currency and gaining insights into their malicious infrastructure
  • Developing new tools and analytics to automatically find new threats and share relevant data from underused sources
  • Supporting our partners by sharing tailored guidance on how they can strengthen their security postures

These are just a few examples of the fantastic output that came out of GeekWeek 7. None of this work would have been possible without the enthusiasm and integrity of our participants. Thanks to them, the virtual GeekWeek 7 was just as strong and collaborative as our previous editions.

We do not know if we will be back in person next year or if we will have to connect virtually again. But we do know malicious threat actors never stop looking for ways to exploit Canada and Canadians. The projects mentioned above that began at GeekWeek will continue to be worked on throughout the year to help build our cyber resilience.

Thank you all once again, and I look forward to seeing everyone back at GeekWeek 8!

Rajiv Gupta
Director General, Cyber Defence Capabilities

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