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The federal government is backing the global payment firm’s plans for a Vancouver-based research and innovation centre with a $49-million subsidy from its Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF). Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains told reporters in a conference call from Davos, Switzerland Thursday that the centre will create “good-quality jobs that will enable Canadians to be able to navigate more safely and securely”; it’s expected to create 270 jobs by 2029. (The Logic, The Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Ottawa has been trying to close the gap in foreign direct investment levels—which have recovered from 2017, which saw significant divestment from oil and gas, but remain below the early 2010s—by courting global companies to establish themselves in Canada. The Logic’s analysis from February found that over 50 per cent of the initial $951 million awarded by the SIF went to foreign subsidiaries, despite the fund being advertised as a way for Canadian companies to scale and grow globally. In June 2019, the government launched a fifth stream of the $2.51-billion fund with no industry or subject-area restrictions. Currently, the centre is home to NuData Security, a small biometric- identification business Mastercard purchased in 2017.

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Rudy Giuliani was locked out of his iPhone after entering his passcode incorrectly at least 10 times, according to an internal Apple Store memo. To restore his access to the device, an employee had to erase its data—which was backed up on Apple’s cloud—and reset it. (NBC)

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Talking point: In two past instances, Giuliani accidentally dialled and left voice messages for reporters in which he discussed the Trump administration’s ongoing conflict with Joe Biden and his son, among other things. On the basis of those events, as well as this recent incident, two former FBI agents—Michael Anaya and E.J. Hilbert—have called Giuliani’s cybersecurity expertise into question. The agents noted that an individual as close to President Donald Trump as his cybersecurity adviser—an informal position outside the government—should not give retail employees access to his digital devices, nor should they store data on Apple’s cloud service. Giuliani has not commented on the incident at the Apple Store.

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The 5G risk assessment the commission released Wednesday predicts an increase in the number of state-backed cyber attacks as 5G technology becomes more prevalent. The report comes short of singling out Huawei for its ties to the Chinese government, but notes that suppliers with a “strong link” to governments “where there are no legislative or democratic checks and balances in place” could present major security threats. It also flags the need to diversify so one supplier isn’t managing all aspects of a network, such as hardware, software and operations. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The EU has resisted calls to join the U.S. in banning Huawei from supplying equipment and infrastructure for its 5G networks. However, member countries may look to the commission’s report as justification for banning—or at least limiting—Huawei’s involvement. In response to the report, the EU will now build a “toolbox” to address the risks the commission identified, due by year’s end. Canada, meanwhile, is currently undertaking its own risk assessment on 5G, which will inform its decision on whether or not to ban Huawei.

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The Waterloo-based tech firm dropped over 20 per cent in late afternoon trading after it reported a decline of about three per cent in revenue from its Internet of Things (IoT) division—which, along with its cybersecurity arm, Cylance, missed analyst estimates. (The Logic)

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Talking point: BlackBerry has spent the past few years trying to transform itself from a phone company to one specializing in a variety of software services including IoT and cybersecurity. It acquired Cylance in February for US$1.4 billion, with the goal of offering products that make it difficult to hack self-driving cars. Not only is that division not hitting sales estimates, but Stuart McClure, who co-founded Cylance, is leaving BlackBerry. It’s not all bad news for the company—overall adjusted revenue was up, if also short of analyst expectations—but the slowdown in at least some areas will continue to hit the company. On a Tuesday call with investors, BlackBerry CEO John Chen said the company is “retooling” certain sales processes, which will have a negative impact on IoT sales for the next two quarters.

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FedDev Ontario and Rogers Communications are both providing $10 million in funding for the Brampton, Ont.-based facility, with the municipal government and Royal Bank of Canada contributing $5 million each. The Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst will provide training to government and private-sector workers on cybersecurity, host a cybersecurity accelerator and match academics with companies for R&D partnerships. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The Ontario provincial government is notably absent from the funding announcement. In April 2018, Ryerson announced that a cybersecurity centre would be part of its planned Brampton campus. But in October, the new Progressive Conservative provincial government cancelled the previous Liberal government’s $90-million pledge for the satellite site. Recently, the federal government has stepped in to provide funding to Ontario innovation projects that the provincial level has reduced its support to. In April, Ottawa announced $52.4 million for MaRS, Communitech and Invest Ottawa; Ontario’s funding cuts to those innovation hubs were revealed shortly after. And, in May, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains told my colleague Jessica that the federal government would look into additional funding for the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and the Vector Institute following Ontario’s cuts to their funding.

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Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, wants banks to share more information with the government to stop hackers. Jones made the pitch at a summit held by the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) in Toronto on Thursday. The CBA is “strongly supportive” of the new approach. (Financial Post)

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Talking point: In May 2018, CIBC and BMO revealed they were being held ransom by a hacker who had stolen account information from a combined 90,000 consumers. Jones is proposing a system where that kind of last-minute public disclosure isn’t needed because banks will share more information with the new cybersecurity centre to stop attacks early. Jones promised banks anonymity if they cooperate. This new system could allow banks to offset some cybersecurity costs to the federal government. However, that’s contingent on bank confidence that the new centre—which was only established in October 2018—is up to the task of preventing cyber threats.

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Vancouver-based Cmd, which helps companies improve internal cybersecurity processes, was founded by former Hootsuite senior security engineer Jake King and Silicon Valley-based Expa partner Milun Tesovic. Its founding team includes engineers from BlackBerry’s QNX division. (VentureBeat)

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Talking point: Cybersecurity is becoming a lucrative opportunity in the wake of high-profile breaches involving companies like Yahoo and FedEx. And, Canadian companies have benefited from the trend. Kitchener-based ISARA raised US$10 million from Silicon Valley-based Shasta Ventures to defend against quantum computers, while Cybeats got $3 million for Internet of Things security. Cybersecurity Ventures, a research publication, estimates that global cybersecurity spending will surpass US$1 trillion by 2021.

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The report surveyed 476 decision-makers at Canadian companies and found that while many were taking cybersecurity seriously, 25 per cent of businesses had no recovery plan in place in the event of a data breach. (BetaKit)

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Talking point: The concern from Canadian tech companies is warranted, as several high-profile tech companies face backlash for their own cybersecurity and privacy issues. Last week, a bug in Apple’s FaceTime application allowed callers to listen in on the audio of the person they were calling, while Facebook’s Research app was removed from the Apple Store for harvesting data and phone activity of users. One of the most alarming findings of this report: 57 per cent of companies owned confidential client information; of them, nearly four in five had already experienced a cyber attack. Nearly half said they would not inform their clients of a breach.

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Scott Morrison said the attacks targeted “government, industry, political organisations, education, health, essential service providers and operators of other critical infrastructure” in the country. Given their scope, Morrison said Australian officials believed a foreign government was behind the attacks—though he declined to make “any public attribution” as to which. (BBC)

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Talking point: While there are a number of countries capable of carrying out the attack, experts have long pointed at China as the likely culprit behind Australia’s cybersecurity woes. Beijing has imposed tariffs on Australian agricultural exports after Morrison’s government called for an independent international investigation into the initial handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Australian intelligence said China was behind the 2019 cyberattacks on Australia’s parliament, which gave the hackers access to tax and foreign policy documents and private email correspondence.