Canada is the Fourth Largest Cybersecurity Hub in the World

Independent report prepared for Toronto Financial Services Alliance and Ontario Centres of Excellence ranks U.S. first, followed by Israel and the U.K., then Canada.

Ontario well-positioned to be global leader in cybersecurity, yet needs further investment and coordination.

TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Canada ranks as the fourth largest innovation hub in the world for cybersecurity with Ontario leading the country, concludes a report released today. Commissioned by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), the report states that Ontario has the potential to assume a more dominant leadership role in cybersecurity, given its current strengths in financial services and technology, if it takes immediate steps to seize the opportunity. The ranking is based on venture capital deals in the cybersecurity sector.

"Given the risks that cybersecurity poses to all businesses, but particularly to the financial services industry, this is very good news," says Janet Ecker, President and CEO of TFSA.  "Canada's financial industry has an international reputation for stability, safety and growth. And, it is headquartered right here in the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor, among one of the largest technology hubs in North America. This presents a huge opportunity to build capacity to support the financial industry and to generate economic growth."

Entitled "Harnessing the Cybersecurity Opportunity for Growth", the report was produced by Deloitte LLP (Deloitte), well known for its expertise in this space.  It concludes that there are significant benefits for Ontario if the province were to strengthen its cybersecurity innovation ecosystem, with a focus on the financial services industry. 

"The report strongly reinforces our view that the strength of both our financial services industry and the province's innovation ecosystem present a major opportunity for economic growth and global leadership in cybersecurity," says Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence.  "We have already established significant clusters of cybersecurity innovation. What's needed now is the coordination and focused support that will take this to a new level of global competitiveness."

In the World Economic Forum's Global Risk 2016 report, cybersecurity risk was recognized as one of the top commercial risks along with geopolitics, the environment, and the economy. The Deloitte report makes it clear that although Ontario is well positioned, there are still areas that need to be improved if the province is to establish a leadership position in a globally competitive environment.

The report also notes that other jurisdictions around the world are poised to step into the breach and recommends that Ontario act quickly on this window of opportunity for growth in cybersecurity or risk losing substantive benefits, including high skilled jobs, long-term security and overall economic prosperity.

Highlights of the report indicate a number of elements which are referenced as areas of "strength and friction within Ontario's cybersecurity innovation ecosystem on which to build and solve for":

  1. The future of innovation in the financial services industry is intimately linked to cybersecurity creating opportunities for shared growth.
     
  2. While Ontario has organically developed significant clusters of cybersecurity innovation, there is no single centre of gravity, coordination, or systemic catalyst to bring it all together.
     
  3. There is a cybersecurity talent shortage globally and in Ontario.
     
  4. There is limited collaboration on applying Ontario's R&D strengths in related fields to cybersecurity problems.
     
  5. Ontario is well positioned to access some of the largest domestic and international cybersecurity markets and sources of capital, but a lack of visibility, a limited culture of 'buying Canadian,' and a relatively risk-averse domestic client base has historically hindered this potential advantage for cybersecurity innovators in Ontario.
     
  6. Cybersecurity is an area of strategic collaboration for financial services and other industries.
     
  7. A historically sound regulatory environment has potentially led to a risk-averse approach to innovation for the financial services industry.

The report can be found online at www.oce-ontario.org/Cyber-Report.

About the TFSA
The Toronto Financial Services Alliance is a public/private partnership between governments and the financial industry, dedicated to enhancing and promoting Toronto region as a  as a "top ten" international financial services centre. Its membership encompasses core financial services companies – banks, brokerages, investment fund managers, pension funds, and insurance companies – as well as partner sectors – accounting, law and academia.

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs

SOURCE Toronto Financial Services Alliance

For further information: Media Contacts: Andrew Robertson, Manager, Media Relations, Ontario Centres of Excellence, T: 416.861.1092 x 1092, andrew.robertson@oce-ontario.org; Marta Andradzka, Marketing Manager, Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), T: 416.933.6788, mandradzka@tfsa.ca


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