FREDERICTON (GNB) – More than 200 representatives from government, industry and academia are attending a two-day summit in Fredericton this week aimed at training and recruiting more skilled workers to the cybersecurity industry in New Brunswick and around the world.

“Our government is committed to creating the right environment for New Brunswick businesses to succeed,” said Economic Development and Small Business Minister Mary Wilson, who is also the minister responsible for Opportunities NB. “Part of that commitment is attracting and developing a skilled workforce so that we can energize the private sector and see our businesses continue to thrive in the digital age. As one of the first provinces to identify cybersecurity as a top priority, New Brunswick is taking the national lead as a hub for this kind of infrastructure and innovation.”

The 2019 CyberSmart Summit is hosted by CyberNB, a special operating agency of Opportunities NB. The event is focused on advancing international collaboration in cybersecurity training and skills, job creation and workforce development.

Several accomplishments of the conference were announced this morning, including:

  • A partnership between CyberNB and AIG Canada that will help to reduce digital risks, provide preventative solutions to cyber threats, and work to instil a culture of best practices for businesses in New Brunswick.
  • The launch of the Cybersecurity Talent Alliance, a national strategy that will work to attract cybersecurity talent and help students develop the technology skills needed for a changing workforce. The alliance is a collaboration among government, industry and academia.

Keynote speaker Ellen Ochoa, a former NASA astronaut and former director of the Johnson Space Center, spoke to delegates and local middle and high school students about opportunities in the sector.

Students attended the youth portion of the summit, which included networking activities, cybersecurity workshops and exhibits, and the chance to compete in the New Brunswick Cyber Defense League Championship.

“Cybersecurity, as a risk and opportunity, affects all of us,” said Opportunities NB CEO Stephen Lund. “When we encourage youth and their participation in this area, we know we are helping to develop the skills they need to succeed. Opportunities NB is proud to support their engagement and celebrate their achievements.”