Collège communautaire du Nouveau-Brunswick (CCNB) is stepping up its support of New Brunswick’s cybersecurity/IT sector with the launch of its upcoming Cybersecurity Boot Camp.

This industry-driven, English language Boot Camp begins February 6th, 2017, and registration is now open. Get the details and register here.

Pierre Clavet serves as CCNB’s Sectorial Advisor for IT, Technology and Natural Sciences. Clavet works closely with the tech industry to ensure CCNB curriculum is up-to-date and relevant to the ever-shifting needs of the technology sector.

We spoke to Pierre to learn more about the college’s move into cybersecurity.

ONB: What information can you provide on the Cybersecurity Boot Camp?

Clavet: It’s an introduction to the cybersecurity industry for people with existing IT or computer science backgrounds. It includes 14 weeks in the classroom followed by a six week internship with one of our industry partners like IBM and Bulletproof Solutions.

We’re using a hybrid model; we will have students attending the course both in class as well as remotely. Those remote students can be anywhere in New Brunswick, or anywhere in Canada for that matter. They just need a high speed internet connection and follow the Atlantic (AST) time zone.

Based on industry input, the Cybersecurity Boot Camp will focus on networking, language and terminology, the history of cybersecurity, computer defence, and more. Cybersecurity obviously involves hardware and software, but there’s also that human element that requires attention. So one of the most interesting aspects of this is understanding the role played by social engineering — manipulation of people with the intent of unveiling confidential information.

ONB: Can you expand on the social engineering angle? 

Clavet: There seems to be a consensus that social engineering is where the industry is still weak. It is possible that “hackers” can get in to your system simply by calling your employees pretending to be someone they’re not. They’ll say they’re from your IT Help Desk or something like that, and try to gain access to your systems. This is a huge component of having a good cybersecurity strategy, and it’s probably one of the least well-developed areas of the industry. It’s one thing to put up firewalls, use two-factor authentication, etc. If someone gets their hands on administrator passwords via social engineering the most expensive security software won’t stop them.

ONB: The Boot Camp is open to everyone?

Clavet: It’s for anyone with an existing diploma or degree in computer science, IT or related field. Our industry partners have security checks, and there will be some type of security requisite to enroll.

ONB: Can you tell us about the collaboration that has helped bring this Boot Camp into existence?

Clavet: This represents great collaboration between academia, government, and industry. The program will be funded via the support of the province’s Department of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour (PETL), who have really embraced the idea. Then of course there is CyberNB. They have really stepped up to help us facilitate and secure that funding from the province. They’ve also been pivotal in bringing us together with industry partners. CyberNB has helped us access all of the resources we’ve needed to make put this Boot Camp together.

ONB: Would you agree NB is well-positioned to lead in Cybersecurity?

Clavet: Absolutely, and this is a great first step for CCNB to play a bigger role in that ecosystem. Regardless of sector, our goal is to work closely with industry to create programs for their needs. We’ll continue working with CyberNB and industry players to expand our cybersecurity offerings moving forward. New Brunswick is putting resources in the right places in order to expand this sector, and create a great pipeline of skilled professionals for it.

CyberNB, an initiative of Opportunities NB, is executing a deliberate action plan to build upon New Brunswick’s world-class industry cluster to enhance workforce development, education, and cybersecurity research.

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