Creation of a talent and expertise collective in cybersecurity

Montreal, September 12, 2018

To make Québec a global leader in cybersecurity, Desjardins Group, National Bank, Deloitte and RHEA Group join forces to create CyberEco

With cyber threats such as fraud, identity theft and data theft proliferating and the skilled talent pool in computer security diminishing, Desjardins Group, National Bank, Deloitte and RHEA Group are teaming up to support the creation of CyberEco, a new organization that will lead to the establishment in Québec of a talent and expertise collective in cybersecurity.

"Hackers and scammers are always coming up with new schemes. That's why cybersecurity and innovation are strategically important. CyberEco's expertise will help us on many fronts in the fight against cybercrime and will enhance our prevention initiatives," explained Desjardins Group president and CEO Guy Cormier.

CyberEco brings together cybersecurity experts working on common projects intended to serve companies and individuals alike. These experts are applying their knowledge and experience to develop technological solutions that make digital activities more secure, including awareness tools and new protection and detection software, as well as algorithms for identifying malicious behaviour.

"Over the last few years, we have seen demand for cybersecurity products and services literally explode," notes Marc Perron, Québec Region Managing Partner, Deloitte. "To respond to this, it is vital to develop new solutions that rely on greater collaboration between major industry players. That's the spirit of CyberEco, and that's also why we're proud to associate our teams with it and to be among the founding partners."

Starting this year, a series of initiatives aimed at preventing cyberattacks and protecting the confidentiality of personal information more effectively will swing into action. Far from being just a centre of expertise in technology, CyberEco will also work on human behaviour, focusing among others on projects intended for the general public such as the Protection app that will be launched this fall. Desjardins Group, National Bank, Deloitte and RHEA Group are joining forces not only to finance the project but also to share their expertise and to facilitate the implementation of solutions.

"A number of economic sectors are currently undergoing a digital revolution. To take full advantage of it, organizations need high-performing cybersecurity solutions. Whether to support business activities or create an environment that's conducive to business development, the benefits are numerous. Cybersecurity has also become a matter of national security, and this situation could become even more acute in years to come," stated Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank.

Cybersecurity, a threat and an opportunity for the Québec economy

According to the project's founding members, Québec needs to show greater concern for cybersecurity, with technology being the keystone of the new economy. It is a matter of interest to all sectors, in particular artificial intelligence, "Industry 4.0" and video games, areas where Montréal already stands out.

Furthermore, identity theft and Internet scams are a threat to the general public and cause substantial financial losses.

The creation of CyberEco seeks to position Québec on the global stage and to create and maintain jobs here as well as to take advantage of a growing market that could top $170 billion worldwide by 2020.i Knowing that demand for cybersecurity professionals will reach 8,000 jobs in Canada by 2021ii, CyberEco intends to speed up workforce development to prepare the next generation in this sector through its various alliances, notably with the academic world. Cybersecurity could rise to become one of the drivers of the Québec economy. Université de Montréal announced today that it is creating a research chair in cybercrime prevention, funded by Desjardins Group and National Bank of Canada.

"Desjardins Group and National Bank of Canada teaming up with Université de Montréal to tackle the cybersecurity challenge sends a clear signal of the urgency to act now," says Guy Breton, Rector, Université de Montréal. "This sharing of expertise will provide tangible solutions while meeting a critical need for talent in this field."

Montréal, a preferred location

With its high concentration of companies and researchers in artificial intelligence, Montréal is a superb location for establishing a world-class centre combining cybersecurity and artificial intelligence. Headquartered in the Quartier de l'innovation, in the heart of the Montréal economic ecosystem, the organization will see a surge in affiliations with local and international partners. The presence of universities, start-ups and a skilled workforce also enable Montréal to stand out.

About CyberEco

By pooling specialized resources, CyberEco aims to turn Québec into a world-class talent and expertise collective in cybersecurity. Working on tangible solutions in this rapidly growing field, CyberEco promotes the sharing of knowledge and training for the next generation, along with awareness and prevention, as well as providing specialized cybersecurity products and services. This body brings together first-rate experts and prestigious founding members, including Desjardins Group, National Bank, Deloitte and RHEA Group, to make digital activities more secure for organizations and individuals alike, for a prosperous and secure economy.

i Source: Deloitte, 2016
ii Source: Deloitte, 2018


For more information:

Béatrice Couture
Sébastien Demers