Polytechnique Montréal's expertise positions IMC2 at the heart of two projects supported by the National Cybersecurity Consortium

NOVEMBER 27th, 2023

Professor Frédéric Cuppens leads a pan-Canadian cybersecurity training program project aimed at young cyber-enterprises and entrepreneurship successors, while Assistant Professor Mohammad Hamdaqa collaborates on a project designing a backup system combining data deduplication and encryption.

Cybersécurité et cyberrésilience. (Illustration : Adobe Stock)(Image : Adobe Stock)

As part of the Government of Canada’s Cybersecurity Innovation Network, the National Cybersecurity Consortium, a pan-Canadian network supporting the development of the cybersecurity ecosystem in Canada through research and development, commercialization, and training, provides support of $999,990 to the “From Training to Innovative Cyberstartup” project led by Polytechnique Montréal.

The project, overseen by Professor Frédéric Cuppens of the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering, aims to establish a pan-Canadian training program focused on cybersecurity professions and adaptable to innovation cycles. It will include components for innovative young cyber-enterprises, evolving entrepreneurship-oriented training, and learning through realistic scenario-based modules.

This program will educate students in entrepreneurship and assist participants in launching cybersecurity businesses, offer training at all levels focused on priority cybersecurity professions and technological advancements, and develop cyber-technical skills through hands-on learning.

The project is carried out within the activities of the Multidisciplinary Institute on Cybersecurity and Cyber-Resilience (IMC2), of which Professor Cuppens is the director, with contributions from researchers from HEC Montréal and the University of Montréal. Additionally, the financial institution Desjardins and the organization Cybereco are collaborating on the project. Propolys, Polytechnique Montréal’s entrepreneurship support service, will lead the component focused on student entrepreneurship training and support for launching cybersecurity businesses.

“The training program developed as part of the project aims to address two key priorities for Canada, namely to train more cybersecurity talents and attract more people to entrepreneurship careers in this field,” explains Professor Frédéric Cuppens. “It will contribute to making the country a global leader in cybersecurity through the contribution of academic, financial, and industrial partners who, together, aim to enhance the cyber resilience of organizations and individuals and support innovation that will effectively address and adapt to the multiple and growing cyber risks.”

“The support from the National Cybersecurity Consortium for our collaborative project underscores the strength of IMC2’s multidisciplinary approach and its partners,” notes Marc Gervais, executive director of the Institute. “This support confirms, among other things, the relevance of our interuniversity efforts and highlights the key role of our initiative in the development and promotion of cybersecurity education.”

Collaboration on the design of a backup system

Mohammad Hamdaqa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Engineering and Software Engineering, is collaborating on the project “Design of a Confidential, Scalable, and High-Performance Backup System,” led by Ali José Mashtizadeh, Assistant Professor in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. IT solutions provider Acronis is also collaborating on the project, which received support of $370,036 from the National Cybersecurity Consortium.

This research project aims to build a cloud-based data backup system that will be able to eliminate duplicates while maintaining encryption of the stored information at an online service provider. The work conducted focuses on confidential deduplication and network optimization.

“I am leading the development of machine learning-based optimizations for edge computing in the presence of unreliable third-party edge nodes as part of this project,” explains Professor Hamdaqa. “Additionally, I am involved in designing scalable metadata and key management solutions. I also contribute to the development and verification of the secure backup system.”

The National Cybersecurity Consortium, mandated by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada to lead the Cybersecurity Innovation Network, announced support of $11.2 million for twenty projects valued at over $39.2 million. This consortium, which collaborates with the private and public sectors to foster innovation and talent development in cybersecurity and increase economic activity related to cybersecurity in Canada, was established by the University of Calgary, Concordia University, the University of New Brunswick, the University of Toronto, and the University of Waterloo.

Les professeurs Frédéric Cuppens et Mohammad Hamdaqa.Professors Frédéric Cuppens and Mohammad Hamdaqa

Article first published in the ‘Carrefour de l’actualité’ from Polytechnique Montréal