CanSSOC and CANARIE’s Cybersecurity Program to Integrate, Driving National Alignment to Secure Canada’s Research & Education Sector 

Integration to coordinate national cybersecurity services to further secure all organizations in the sector, regardless of size or capacity 

(OTTAWA and TORONTO – May 2, 2022)

CANARIE and the Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC) announced that CanSSOC’s team and services will integrate with CANARIE’s cybersecurity program, with the initial phase of integration starting today. CANARIE and CanSSOC share a vision to secure Canada’s research and education (R&E) sector through a national, federated system, based on the principle that when it comes to cybersecurity, we are stronger together. Initial steps toward this vision will enable coordination among local, institutional cybersecurity specialists, together with regional and national cybersecurity experts, to detect and respond to evolving cybersecurity incidents.  

The integration of CanSSOC with CANARIE strengthens the coordinated national approach to cybersecurity by bringing together the expertise, communities, and operational resources of both teams. Existing CanSSOC services will coordinate with CANARIE’s Cybersecurity Initiatives Program to advance new national services as community needs evolve. The community will be asked to participate in the development and evolution of these services, starting this summer with a series of workshops hosted across Canada. 

The integration of CanSSOC and CANARIE will serve the R&E sector by:  

  • simplifying processes and reducing the burden on institutional personnel to access national cybersecurity services 
  • integrating data sources and scalable solutions to build actionable intelligence that secures the entire sector, regardless of an organization’s size or cybersecurity capacity 
  • developing a national talent strategy to ensure the size of an organization’s team is no longer a barrier to their adoption of world class cybersecurity tools and services 
  • amplifying and integrating existing investments in technologies, processes, and people  
  • increasing regional and national investments in cybersecurity 

By continuing to strengthen partnerships with national and regional providers and funders of cybersecurity services, the National Research and Education Network (NREN), and the associations that support the R&E sector, CanSSOC and CANARIE will continue to evolve the people, processes and tools that enhance cybersecurity capabilities in the sector. 

This integration has been approved and endorsed by CANARIE’s Board of Directors and the CanSSOC Steering Committee. 

“I’m very pleased to welcome CanSSOC’s cybersecurity experts to our broader team,” said Jim Ghadbane, CANARIE’s President and CEO. “This milestone demonstrates alignment on a single, nationally federated approach with Canada’s NREN, reinforcing our shared belief that we are stronger together. The integration of the CanSSOC team and our commitment to deliver world-class cybersecurity expertise, processes, and tools is a powerful foundation for delivering on our vision of a more secure Canada.”  

“CanSSOC and CANARIE’s shared vision adds strength to this integrated approach,” said Jill Kowalchuk, CanSSOC Director. “I’m grateful for the commitment and engagement of our colleagues across the higher education community, who have helped evolve CanSSOC from its origins as a pilot program of our founding institutions to national advanced threat detection and response services for the entire sector. Together with the broader CANARIE team, we will continue to leverage existing collaborations and community momentum to support increasingly integrated and coordinated defence against cyber threats.” 

“The frequency and complexity of cybersecurity intrusions from increasingly sophisticated attackers are threats that no institution should tackle on its own. This is why we partnered with University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, McMaster University, McGill University, and Toronto Metropolitan University to develop a collaborative and community-driven approach to sector-specific threat detection and response, through the incubation of CanSSOC,” said Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto. “We are proud to support the ongoing evolution of CanSSOC as it integrates with CANARIE, building a critical national approach to cybersecurity that benefits the whole sector.”    

“As diverse as the missions of institutions in Canada’s higher education institutions are, we share a common goal of keeping our students, faculty, and systems secure from cyber threats,” said Michael Barr, Chief Information Officer at Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). “As a polytechnic with just over 14,000 students, SAIT has greatly benefitted from CanSSOC’s expertise and services, as well as the funded tools through CANARIE’s Cybersecurity Initiatives Program. CanSSOC and CANARIE’s integration strengthens security of the whole sector, by aligning the people, services, and tools that serve the needs of all institutions, regardless of size or existing capacity.” 

Community Webinars

More information about this integration will be provided at two upcoming webinars, followed by a question-and-answer period led by CANARIE and CanSSOC leaders. Simultaneous French interpretation will be provided. 

May 12, 2022 | 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET | Register
May 18, 2022 | 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. ET | Register  

For more information, please contact:

Ela Yazdani 
Senior Director, Communications  
(613) 943-5432 
[email protected] 

Jill Kowalchuk
Director, CanSSOC
(403) 816-1017
[email protected] 


Together with our thirteen provincial and territorial partners, we form Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). This ultra-high-speed network connects Canada’s researchers, educators, and innovators to each other and to global data, technology, and colleagues. 

To strengthen the security of Canada’s research and education sector, we collaborate with our partners in the NREN, government, academia, and the private sector to fund, implement, and support cybersecurity initiatives. We also provide identity management services to the academic community, boost Canada’s startups with cloud resources and expertise in emerging technologies, and fund the development of software for research. 

Established in 1993, CANARIE is a non-profit corporation, with most of our funding provided by the Government of Canada. 

About CanSSOC 

The Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre (CanSSOC) and its partners are raising the bar for threat detection and response across Canada’s higher education sector. CanSSOC brings together a federation of people, technology, and processes to help institutions defend themselves against cyber security threats. 

CanSSOC was founded in 2018 by the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University, University of Toronto, and McGill University. More than 150 Canadian academic institutions, and growing, now participate. 

In addition to national efforts, in 2021 CanSSOC led the creation of a global higher education threat intelligence partnership with Jisc in the UK, OmniSOC in the US, and AARNet in Australia.