Funded Initiatives

The multi-stakeholder Cybersecurity Advisory Committee defines and prioritizes the initiatives that will be funded and supported through the Cybersecurity Initiatives Program (CIP).

Initiative prioritization is based on three guiding principles – those that:

  • support the evolution of a complementary set of capabilities at all layers – from local to national – to collectively enhance overall cybersecurity posture for the sector.
  • address priorities or gaps with the greatest potential to advance cybersecurity posture across the broadest portion of the ecosystem.
  • primarily benefit the entire R&E system. All eligible organizations should be able to participate in and/or benefit from initiatives funded by the program.

Funded initiatives available to all CIP participants: 

A simple-to-implement and powerful tool that protects your network by adding an extra layer of protection to safeguards you already have in place by:

  • Blocking/redirecting users (and bots) from malicious domains such as those that contain malware or are engaged in phishing
  • Blocking malware and phishing
  • Aggregating threat data to allow/deny traffic based on new intelligence, and
  • Facilitating research from new intelligence to identify new threats

CIRA’s off-network protection feature is designed to extend the protection of CIRA’s DNS Firewall to your users’ devices wherever they are accessing the internet beyond your campus network.

By securing laptops, phones and tablets, off-network protection can help you support your faculty and staff in hybrid and remote working and learning environments. The feature is fully deployed in minutes and includes:

  • Device-level reporting
  • Network management
  • Support for all major operating systems

Sector-specific threat intelligence for research and education organizations.

The Threat Feed aggregates and curates threat intelligence from public and private cybersecurity threat feeds into a single block/allow list that you can deploy directly into your existing firewall.

The Intrusion Detection System tracks suspicious network behaviour and can find new threats as they emerge.

Organizations that participate in the IDS initiative will be able to select an IDS device that suits their existing infrastructure and receive funding to support the participation of cybersecurity staff in the national IDS collaboration.

A service that assesses and compares higher-ed organizations’ cybersecurity processes and performance to promote evidence-based best practices.

The service includes:

  • Benchmarking the cybersecurity performance of Canadian research and education (R&E) organizations
  • Continuous security monitoring of participating organizations
  • Assessing the cybersecurity performance of vendors

A service that provides an annual, comprehensive assessment of your organization’s cybersecurity capabilities and capacities against the NIST Cybersecurity Framework.

The NCA can:

  • identify your organization’s cybersecurity maturity and placement relative to your peers, and identify common, sector-wide strengths and priorities for support.
  • identify cybersecurity gaps at the regional and national levels, and guide future cybersecurity investments by the NREN.
  • help inform your organization’s cybersecurity plans and investment strategies.

Proposing New Initiatives for Funding

New initiatives for funding are invited to be submitted for consideration by the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee.

All initiative proposals must be sponsored by a member of the research and education community. This can include eligible organizations (see eligibility criteria here), NREN Partners, or community organizations and associations that represent eligible organizations (such as CUCCIO, CICan, etc.). For example, a proposal from a private sector entity must include at least one sponsor from the eligible list above.

To submit a proposal, please contact We will follow up with you with next steps.

Participate in the CIP

Participate in the CIP

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