Ontario Continues to Strengthen and Secure Public Sector Cyber Security

Published on October 01, 2020

Initiatives include New Virtual Conference and Partnership with Ryerson University


News Release

TORONTO — Today, the Ontario government marked the beginning of Cyber Security Awareness Month by hosting in partnership with Ryerson University the province's first-ever cyber security conference for the broader public sector and announcing the launch of a new academic partnership with Ryerson University's Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst. The Ontario Public Service and broader public sector increasingly rely on digital technology to deliver services to the public, including transactions such as renewing a driver's licence or issuing a health card.

The virtual conference, Keeping Pace: Cyber Security in Ontario's Public Sector, will support broader public sector organizations, such as municipalities, universities, and hospitals in addressing rapidly-evolving threats and an increasing demand for digital public services. The virtual conference will explore current and future cyber risks and focus on how to implement best practices and build stronger cyber security profiles.

"As the threat of cybercrime grows and changes, so too must our defenses and preparedness," said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. "Our government continues to leverage Ontario's cyber security expertise to protect our digital service platforms and sensitive information shared with us. By educating the broader public sector we are strengthening defenses around public services, and communities, ensuring that the province can operate in a safer cyber landscape."

The province has also partnered with Ryerson University's Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst, a program that empowers Canadians and Canadian businesses to address cyber security challenges through training and certification, commercial acceleration, support for cyber scale-ups, applied research and development, and public education. This collaboration will provide ongoing cyber security support to Ontario's broader public sector through innovative learning modules on the learning portal, www.cybersecurityontario.ca.

These initiatives build on the expansion of the province's Cyber Security Centre of Excellence, established last summer as a key part of Ontario's Cyber Security Strategy. The Centre of Excellence supports government ministries in the Ontario Public Service and the Broader Public Sector in improving digital resilience and safeguarding sensitive infrastructure.


Quick Facts

  • The 2018 Report of the Independent Financial Commission of Inquiry identified cyber security threats as a significant risk to Ontario’s economy, revenues, and expenses.
  • Globally, cyber threats are fast-evolving and increasingly complex.
  • Broader public sector organizations across the province, such as Lakeridge Health, the Children’s Aid Society offices of Oxford County and Lanark, Leeds and Grenville, Metrolinx, and the City of Stratford have faced cyber incidents over the past several years.
  • The broader public sector delivers more than 80 per cent of public services in Ontario.

Additional Resources