The end of Serene-risc's journey
Should we be upset that Serene-risc has come to an end after eight years? If tragedy is the potential unfulfilled or goals unreached, we should consider what we have achieved in light of our intentions.
Serene-risc started with a plan to mobilize cybersecurity knowledge through workshops and seminars; knowledge brokering by our partner organizations; a knowledge digest; an online knowledge warehouse; a public website and a professional development program.
We put on a dozen workshops and several seminars, but we grew together to provide academic tracks at industry conferences, create an international online conference (preparing our researchers years before the pandemic), support grassroots and local events and even provide cybersecurity awareness workshops directly to the public.
We had partners share knowledge within their organizations, but also between organizations and with partners around the world.
Our knowledge digest grew not only grew from a regular publication to an online service, but also provided a training ground for dozens of young Canadians to improve their skills in knowledge translation. We provided an online knowledge warehouse that grew from a place for network members to find information, to a public service that bridged both disciplinary and language divides. We provided resources from our public website replete with resources, but our online presence grew to include two other separate websites, not to mention our social media presence.
We provided a professional development program that grew from volunteer opportunities and soft skills seminars, to include poster competitions, cyber challenges building skills from hacking to data analysis. We also built a comprehensive bilingual cybersecurity awareness education program from the ground up on an empirical foundation with Canadian researchers and put it where it could serve overlooked communities, working with and testing the program in libraries and aged care facilities. We contacted more than one hundred Canadian libraries and provided train-the-trainer sessions across the country.
We followed this with an innovative MOOC for universities designed to engage students and staff alike to contribute to the cybersecurity of the academic sector.
We also produced reports on cybersecurity for health care, a roadmap for Canadian cybersecurity going forward, not to mention the literally hundreds of videos that will help support cybersecurity learning for years to come.
Perhaps greatest among our achievements is something that is impossible to quantify, and that is developing the Serene-risc spirit of work; it is the secret ingredient that made everything else possible. To start impossible tasks with an open mind, open heart and open ears, then both roll up sleeves and reach out to the multitude that were able to help.
We should not be upset but rather be satisfied that Serene-risc achieved all that it set out to do. We can be proud that we didn’t stop there and continued working to service those that needed support. Serene-risc mobilized knowledge to benefit Canadians. It also showed the care and capacity of a dedicated national network of academics and professionals from across the cybersecurity ecosystem.
To that end I would like to thank the over thirty staff who passed through our doors and whose sweat, blood and midnight oil helped us to achieve the unachievable. I would like to thank the volunteers who provided time and injected energy into our events and the students who trusted us to venture out of their comfort zone and present, write, network and record with us. I would like to thank the members of the board for their commitment, comments and direction that guided us to a new level. I would like to thank the partners who supported our vision providing insight, opportunity, and resources far beyond what was required to ‘tick a box’. I would like to thank the Co-investigators who understood the multi-faceted nature of impact and worked with us to do exceptional things. I would like to thank Jim Brookes for providing a consistent and steady hand on the rudder and finally I would like to thank Dr Benoît Dupont for never accepting the status quo and showing us the way.
So, thank you for being a part of the journey, and please continue to be Canada’s Smart cybersecurity network by keeping your mind, heart and ears open, your sleeves up, hands out and never shy away from a chance to help those that can’t help themselves.
Michael Joyce, Co-executive director, on behalf of the Serene-risc team
All our resources will continue to be available, but will no longer be updated as of January 2022:
Introduction to Cybersecurity - Online Training (En-Fr)
Mooc - La cybersécurité en milieu universitaire
Free online cybersecurity training for the university community (Fr)
Cutting Edge Research Summaries for Policy-Makers and Practitioners (En)
Knowledge-sharing platform on cybersecurity and cybercrime (En-Fr)
It's not a goodbye!
The Research Chair in Cybercrime Prevention (CRPC) was created on the initiative of Université de Montréal, Desjardins and the National Bank of Canada. Headed by Benoît Dupont, a researcher at the International Centre for Comparative Criminology at Université de Montréal, its mission is to contribute to the advancement of research into cybercrime phenomena with a view to prevention.
Funded by the SSHRC, the Human-Centric Cybersecurity Partnership (HC2P) leverages a transdisciplinary group of scholars, government, industry and not-for-profit partners to generate research and mobilize knowledge that will help create a safer, more secure, more democratic and more inclusive digital society.
SECREV is an annual event, that streams from locations around the world, following the sun to provide a truly international exchange of cybersecurity knowledge. It combines streaming and social media to create an open and inclusive event for sharing and discussing cybersecurity. It was conceived to openly encourage sharing and interaction among the wider cybersecurity research community.
Next edition of SECREV: May 10, 2022
Serene-risc by the members of the network
We gathered the testimonies of more than 25 employees, partners and co-researchers of the network to tell you the stories behind the genesis of Serene-risc as well as some of the main projects we achieved over the years. This series of short videos named Serene-risc documentary is available on our YouTube Channel.