FREDERICTON _ The TD Bank Group has become the first Canadian bank to join the Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity _ a centre for cyber technology research at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton.
Ali Ghorbani, the director of the institute, says having the bank become a founding corporate member validates the work they are doing to become a hub of cybersecurity research and development.
“Cyber threats are everywhere and financial institutions are at the top of the list for cyber criminals to penetrate and do damages,” Ghorbani said.
“Our centre has 20-plus years of experience doing research and development in cybersecurity. In the last four or five years we have been focusing primarily on threat intelligence and threat analysis and risk analysis and management,” he said.
The institute’s cybersecurity graduate students will work with TD technology teams to develop new ways to detect and deal with online threats.
“Our teams are developing next-generation technology solutions in partnership with leading industry players like TD, deepening defences against emerging cyber threats not just in Canada but around the world,” Ghorbani said.
Frank McKenna, deputy chairman at TD, said protecting online data is “mission critical” for the bank because they are under constant attacks from hackers.
“We have 25 million customers and their data is a sacred trust,” McKenna said in an interview.
“Our technology teams have looked all over the world and we’re extraordinarily pleased to find some of the world’s leading experts are right at UNB.”
McKenna said the bank plans to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in the institute and will open an office on site with up to 20 employees to start with.
He said the Canadian centre is needed, despite the fact that TD also recently announced the opening of a cybersecurity office in Israel.
“Israel is an acknowledged expert in cybersecurity but UNB is also recognized as a global expert in cybersecurity,” he said.
McKenna said the bank is already collaborating with the university and will begin investing the money and developing office space in the coming year.
There have been reports that estimate the global cost of cybercrime exceeded $600 billion last year.