Executive Director Year-End Update

A Year in Review:

As 2020 winds down and we look to 2021, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on the past year.

2020 started strong – cyber threat information sharing was increasing; planning was underway to start regional get-togethers to help you build networks, establish trust relationships and share experiences; we participated in events in Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and Montreal to expand the CCTX’s country-wide network of members interested in sharing and collaborating; and 300 attendees participated at the CCTX annual symposium in February to hear from leading technical experts, to assist with your biggest challenges, renew connections with colleagues and make new contacts. 

March brought a new reality as to how we were going to spend the remainder of the year.  Suddenly, a new threat environment was created – working from home.  The CCTX initiated daily calls for members to share experiences in sending entire companies to work from home, what was working and what was not.  The healthcare sector became the front line protecting us all.  The CCTX helped to reduce their burden by offering free limited-term memberships for hospitals.  Weekly calls were set up to hear how other healthcare units were coping, learning through shared experiences, reducing the workload for all.   

  • We embraced virtual meetings to host weekly threat calls and technical webinars.  Based on the value members told us they received from the insights provided by their peers, these programs will continue. Topics for the calls are selected by members, and they are designed to answer your questions and solve your problems.  Next year’s schedule is already being built.
  • Delivering threat intelligence that is timely and actionable is our mission.  IOCs are now available in machine readable format.  Weekly reports are more robust and relevant to a wider readership.  The portal was upgraded so analysts can more quickly and effectively find the information that is relevant to them. 
  • The Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Working Group launched, and they are exploring ways to ensure that the services CCTX provides are appropriate to the needs of that community.
  • With the assistance of our Affiliate members, we have been reaching out to other business sectors which we believe will benefit from participation in the CCTX and will benefit current members by enriching our data and threat information.  

This year has shown us the importance and effectiveness of collaboration.  The CCTX is founded on the principle of collaboration – sharing cyber information to strengthen us all.  I’d like to challenge each of you to increase sharing with your fellow members. 

2021 will be an exciting year for you in the CCTX.  We have developed a plan to further increase the value you derive from being a member.  We will be adding to our team through co-op placements and interns to bring you more products tailored to your needs and interests.  Partnerships with academia will enhance this capability. Together, we will help make our respective organizations and Canada more secure.

The CCTX team wishes you and your family health and happiness for the Holiday Season and the New Year. 

Robert W. (Bob) Gordon
Executive Director
Canadian Cyber Threat Exchange (CCTX)