KPMG in Canada and Microsoft Canada have rolled out an initiative to offer free hands-on training aimed at fortifying cybersecurity measures for businesses and governments. The joint venture is channelling $1.7 million over three years into the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre. Initially, the centre plans to provide cybersecurity courses tailored for leaders of small and medium-sized enterprises and board members. Additionally, it will offer generative AI training for C-Suite executives and board members, delivered in French, potentially benefiting over 11,000 executives, as per the companies’ estimates.
The training launch comes at a critical juncture, reflecting a pressing need for executives to comprehend cybersecurity intricacies. Guillaume Clement, a KPMG Cybersecurity Services partner, underscores the persistent knowledge gap among business leaders in cybersecurity, exacerbated by the rapid emergence of new technologies.
The complexity of IT infrastructure amplifies this gap, with the integration of modern technologies alongside existing legacy systems. Clement emphasizes the increased attack surface and complexity, pointing out the need for up-to-date training that adapts to the evolving IT landscape. While the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre initially provides courses in French, plans are in place to introduce English courses by early next year. The subsequent phase will involve more technical training programs, enhancing the curriculum’s breadth.
Clement urges executives to deepen their engagement with cybersecurity, advocating for a deeper understanding of risks rather than just surface-level knowledge. He emphasizes the necessity for executives to grasp and address cybersecurity challenges, encouraging them to engage more substantively when employees raise security concerns.
The concerning statistic that only a minute fraction of known business email compromise attacks were reported to employers in the latter half of 2022 underscores the imperative for a more vigilant approach to cybersecurity. Clement insists that cybersecurity budgets, which historically might have been subject to reductions, now require protection and possibly augmentation.
Despite progress in the Canadian cybersecurity landscape, vulnerabilities persist, and Clement urges continuous improvement. He hopes the training offered through the new centre will kindle a broader interest in cybersecurity education, fostering a more robust and informed approach to digital security.