Highlights 2020 – Perspectives 2021

As we approach the end of the year, the Serene-risc team would like to look back at the highlights for 2020 and provide a view of the year ahead. While this year brought many challenges, the Serene-risc team has continued its activities and has taken advantage of online collaboration opportunities to pursue its projects.


Mobilizing knowledge in cybersecurity

As always, the network was highly involved in knowledge mobilization. Serene-risc released two issues of the Cybersecurity Digest and has been working on a new online platform to promote this resource. In the early weeks of the pandemic, our online introductory cybersecurity training platform (Cybersec 101) helped thousands of users, organizations and SMEs quickly learn about safer online habits when they had to adopt new work-from-home arrangements. A lot of content has been added to the blog Konnect and on our YouTube Channel, and the cybersecurity podcast Cybercrimeology passed 5,000 downloads. New projects have also started. Collaborating with the University of Montreal, Serene-risc has been working on a Massive open online course (MOOC) about cybersecurity basics for the academic community. This course will be available at the beginning of 2021 on the Edulib platform, first in French and then in English. Finally, the team has begun working on a cybersecurity technology roadmap to identify knowledge gaps requiring further research and to better understand R&D opportunities and priorities for the next 5 to 10 years. This work is supported by Public Safety Canada.


Engaging with communities in cybersecurity 

In addition to taking part in cybersecurity events in Canada (GoSec2020, MTL Connect, …), Serene-risc created multiple opportunities to engage with communities in cybersecurity. For the 3rd year in a row, Serene-risc organized the Cybersecurity Revolution, an online international cybersecurity conference that runs for 24 hours and involves researchers from Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, the UK, Canada, Columbia, and the US. The annual workshop moved online. This format allowed us to present a broader program with multiple tracks and welcome more people worldwide. This event brought together nearly 270 professionals from academia, industry and government who could exchange on the latest advances and the most recent research in cybersecurity and cybercrime. Another Canadian Cybersecurity Awareness Stakeholders Teleconference was organized with about fifteen professionals to share cybersecurity awareness and education experiences. Finally, the work done by WoSec Montreal, in collaboration with Serene-risc and the Canadian Centre for Cybersecurity, engaged with hundreds women and helped them reinforce their professional networks through a half dozen face-to-face and online events.


Exploring the future of the network

After seven years of activities, 2021 will mark the final year of Serene-risc. The team will work to ensure the continuity of the network beyond December 2021. An application for the final round of a partnership grant was submitted to SSHRC last October. This partnership aims to leverage a transdisciplinary approach grounded in the social sciences to understand better the role played by the human factor in cybersecurity. The project will bring together professionals from the academic, private and public sectors and focus on student training and knowledge mobilization. Groups interested to learn more about how they could gain access to or become the custodians of particular serene-roac tools are welcome to contact us.