Carleton University’s Michael Weiss, an associate professor in the Department of Systems and Computer Engineering,  received a $560,000 grant from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), PROMPT and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund an Open Source Cyber Fusion Centre as part of the Cybersecurity R&D Challenge. The award will be shared with co-principal investigator, Mourad Debbabi, at Concordia University.

“Carleton fosters leading researchers and partners who are committed to finding innovative, collaborative approaches to solving critical real-world problems,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International). “This partnership will strengthen Carleton’s leadership in the areas of cybersecurity and public safety.”

Weiss, along with colleagues Steven Muegge, professor in the Sprott School of Business, and Tony Bailetti, director of Carleton’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Program, will collaborate with industrial partners eGloo and AvanTech, creators of two Canadian-led open-source projects, and Concordia University.

“Small companies and startup businesses with high-growth potential face the same cyber threats as large companies that can compromise the confidentiality and integrity of business data and essential business services,” said Weiss. “However, small companies often lack the knowledge, skills, resources and capabilities to keep up with constantly shifting threats. The Open Source Cyber Fusion Centre will enhance the operational cybersecurity capabilities of small companies to prevent, detect and mitigate attacks.”

The project’s vision, according to Muegge, is to “bring down the cost of a security operations centre (SOC) from $1million to $1,000,” by working with open-source communities and using machine learning. The project will also positively impact the security of open-source software. With the growing adoption of open-source applications and the consumption of open-source libraries within commercial products and enterprise systems, better security of open-source software will benefit everyone.

OCE, PROMPT and NSERC partnered to support industry-academic collaborative research and development projects through OCE’s Voucher for Industry Association R&D Challenge Program, delivered by OCE on behalf of the Government of Ontario. The program supported joint industry-academic partnerships in Ontario and Quebec that address cybersecurity technology challenges leading to economic benefit for both provinces.

The Cybersecurity R&D Challenge is a $3-million program that supports the cybersecurity technology sector. The program encourages for-profit businesses with innovative cybersecurity related technologies to collaborate with academic research institutions to foster innovation and drive commercialization. The challenge accelerates the development of solutions to address Canada’s cybersecurity strategy, which seeks to secure government systems and to protect citizens, companies and key infrastructure.

The results of the project will be released as an open-source project and provide a platform for new product and service offers for the companies involved. As with all successful open source projects, other companies in the cybersecurity sector can build products and services using the open-source assets, leading to wider adoption of the platform and a greater addressable market.

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Carleton University
613-520-2600, ext. 8718

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Monday, July 22, 2019 in
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