Information Technology Services (ITS)

Cross institutional project teams recognized at 2022 CUCCIO Awards ceremony

Published on: June 27, 2022

As part of the Canadian University Council of Chief Information Officers (CUCCIO) 2022 CANHEIT conference in Abbotsford, BC, there was an in-person gala held on June 22 to celebrate this year’s CUCCIO Award winners. The Canadian Shared Security Operations Centre’s (CanSSOC) Threat Feed services, which has been developed, in part, by ITS members, was awarded CUCCIO’s Collaboration Award.

The Collaboration Award recognizes initiatives that promote collaboration within the higher education IT sector through the development of new leading practices or new service models within institutions, between institutions or across the sector and leading to operational efficiencies or increased effectiveness.

“At CanSSOC, we strive to follow a guiding principle of ‘Better than we can do on our own, always in partnership’,” said Marc Denoncourt, CIO, McGill University. “We are thrilled to receive the Collaboration Award which reaffirms our commitment to this principle.”

Jill Kowalchuk accepting the Collaboration Award.

Jill Kowalchuk accepting the Collaboration Award.

Jill Kowalchuk, Senior Director, CanSSOC Services, CANARIE was present to accept the award on behalf of the founding partner institutions who provided seed funding and leadership, including the University of British Columbia, University of Alberta, McMaster University, McGill University, Toronto Metropolitan University and University of Toronto.

“I am humbled and proud to accept this award on behalf of the larger group,” said Kowalchuk. “This shows the power of collaboration, and what we can accomplish when we work together with partners across the country. I look forward to continued collaboration with our partners to deliver cyber security expertise, services and tools that help protect Canada’s research and education sector.”

Threat Feed provides a sector-specific threat intelligence repository and platform with specialized feeds to provide protection capabilities for current and educational-specific threats. It is based on intelligence from multiple sources, using contextual analysis to provide actionable alerts. You can watch an overview of the Threat Feed service here. Through the development of this work a strong trusted collaborative network has developed across the Canadian sector as well as pushing for partnerships with Australia, the U.K. and U.S. higher education communities.

“Going forward, the National Research and Education Network partners (BCNET, ORION, RISQ, Cybera and CANARIE) will be crucial to the success of the project and expanding the offerings,” said Bo Wandschneider, CIO, U of T.

“This project has been an amazing example of collaboration and the power of the research and education sector working together,” says Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer, U of T. “The recognition is much appreciated, and we will use this success and momentum to do more!”

With funding from CANARIE, the Threat Feed service has been deployed to more than 150 institutions participating, across universities, colleges, Collège d’enseignement général et professionnels and research institutes. As the sector continues to see cyber security threats become more frequent, complex, even sector-specific; it is a challenge that the University cannot tackle on their own. This level of partnership has helped develop a collaborative and community-driven approach to detection and response.

“Congratulations to the Threat Feed services team for this well-deserved award and their important ongoing work,” said Scott Mabury, Vice President, Operations & Real Estate Partnerships & Vice-Provost, U of T. “It is these types of projects that highlight U of T’s mission of knowledge creation, teaching and community service.”

Congratulations to U of T’s REDCap Operations team who was selected as a Finalist for this same award. Learn more about REDCap:

Learn more about all the 2022 CICCIO Award winners here.