Canada has been very successful in exploiting the opportunities that digital technologies offer to enhance its security, prosperity and quality of life, but the explosion of digital technology has also created new and complex vulnerabilities in our personal and economic security. Despite the risks, there is no turning back. There is an opportunity for Canada to carve out a competitive advantage in cyber security and create a secure, leading-edge digital economy. This is the focus of the consultation that was launched in August, aimed at informing the next iteration of a Canadian Cyber Security Strategy. Colleen Merchant will provide an overview of the current cyber security landscape, what was heard through the consultations and the other forces that are shaping a new approach to cyber security in Canada.
Speaker: Colleen Merchant has a rich background in science, technology and security. She began her career in 1986 at the Johnson Space Centre, where her time was spent in the Mission Control Centre as a flight controller specializing in multi-body trajectory analysis and rendezvous flight dynamics. In 1993, she moved to the Canadian Space Agency where she was responsible for the development and implementation of their manned space flight control centre and integration of civilian and military space programs at DND. Ms. Merchant moved to the Communications Security Establishment of Canada (CSEC) in 2004, and then joined the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s (TBS’s) Chief Information Officer Branch in April 2011 as the Executive Director of Government Security. Ms. Merchant returned to the Canadian Space Agency in September 2013 where she is the Director of Programs and Integrated Planning, and is now the Director General of National Cyber Security at Public Safety Canada.