CATA continues advanced security leadership with new projects in Cyber Security and First Responder Communications
November 10, 2009

Research aims to improve cyber security and real-life emergency response for Canadians

Nov. 10, 2009 - Ottawa...CATAAlliance announced today that it will lead two national, multi-sector research initiatives which between them will aim to improve the safety in Canada and at our border, promote our domestic security industry.

Together, these projects are aimed at bringing a better climate for the protection of lives, businesses, and relations with our neighbour.

“Cyber security and emergency response issues are an escalating concern for Canadians,” said John Reid, president of CATAAlliance. “Our research will bring government, industry, and academics together in effort to thwart off what could be a catastrophe.”

Cyber criminals can take advantage of Internet communications to access not only data and bank accounts, but physical assets, giving them the power to control and in some cases destroy entire structures.

Technology Roadmap (TRM) for First Responders

“Combine the cyber threat with the fact that Canada’s first responders lack the technology needed to effectively communicate among different departments and geographic regions in the event of an emergency and you have an open door for a cyber criminal or terrorist to cause considerable harm,” says Reid.

“We’ve been working extensively with the Canadian Police Research Centre (CPRC) and the first responder community to assess their needs and overcome the barriers involved with procurement and technology interoperability,” says Kevin Wennekes, vice-president research with CATAAlliance.

The TRM for First Responders will determine the necessary technology procurement and training required to help industry meet the First Responder and public safety needs today and for the foreseeable future.

2010 Advanced Security Report: A project to reunite security providers and users

Building off its 2003 study on advanced security, related security forums, and partnerships, CATA will conduct a national research project to determine a holistic approach and specific security strategies to deal with evolving cyber threats.

“This survey and in-depth analysis will assess the situation and identify business challenges and opportunities,” says Jean-Guy Rens, CATAAlliance director. “We’ll also break down issues such as the emergence of new technologies, growing protectionism, economic slowdown, and Canada’s procurement policy.”

The survey will be used to launch a series of workshops with security providers and users that will begin in Quebec City next April and end in Vancouver in fall 2010.

“Both initiatives will operate with partnerships among all (private, public, academic) sectors,” said Reid. “We strongly encourage interested parties to contact us to discuss collaborative opportunities.”

CATA’s advanced security events and research have been officially supported by Motorola, SkyTerra, Harris, TELUS, Bell, and many other vendors seeking brand awareness, networking and business development opportunities, and social ROI.

+ Action Item: Those interested in more information about these projects should contact John Reid, at John can connect you with both Kevin Wennekes (First Responder technologies) and Jean-Guy Rens (Cyber Security).

$250k in funding and subsidies already attained for advancing security in 2010

Along with the TRM for First Responders and the 2010 Advanced Security Report, CATAAlliance has attained financial and/or in-kind support for the following advanced security initiatives:
  1. Research on China First Responder ICT Use: This study will be rolled out to a select sample of key Chinese first responder government leaders to determine their ICT technology use and needs. It will identify potential technology gaps which Canadian companies can seek to fill as well as current providers of similar technologies within China for distribution and partnership opportunities for Canada.

  2. First Responder Vendor Outreach Forum: Following two successful Forums in 2008 and 2009, this innovative event brings First Responders and vendors together to solve Canada’s first responder interoperability crisis. Vendors have the opportunity to meet exclusively with leaders from the First Responder community to pitch their offerings and get valuable feedback about requirements they need to fulfill to do business with Canada’s First Responders.

  3. Tradeshow Expeditions to China: CATA just wrapped up an expedition (one of several in 2009) to this year’s China Public Safety and Security Expo (CPSE) which was lead by Chief Bruce Burrell, president of the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC). Vendors who purchased a booth in CATA’s Canadian Pavilion, enjoyed access to a dynamic tradeshow experience and match-making services at heavily government-subsidized fees, and with full support services provided both in Canada and in China. Expect several more opportunities like this in 2010.
++ Action Item: To get involved, or for more information on any of the above three advanced security initiatives, you must contact Kevin Wennekes at or by calling 613.769.8614.