Partners in National Research and Education Network (NREN) complete first collaborative procurement initiative to strengthen cybersecurity for Canada’s NREN

The NB PEI Educational Computer Network (ECN) today announced the successful conclusion of the first procurement for a national Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) infrastructure. The SIEM initiative involves a collaboration of 13 provincial, territorial and federal partners of Canada’s National Research and Education Network (NREN). The proposed solution will enable all partners of the NREN to better identify, manage and respond to cybersecurity threats, and will strengthen the overall security of Canada’s NREN infrastructure.

With cybersecurity threats increasing nationally and globally, collaboration is the key to managing and responding to these threats. Strengthening the security posture of Canada’s NREN in this manner significantly increases the business value and the trust for the organizations that depend on the NREN to conduct collaborative research, deliver education, support innovation, and maintain Canada’s global competitiveness across these areas.

“Our successful completion of the first national procurement contract is an enormous milestone for the NREN,” says Terry Nikkel, Associate Vice-President ITS, University of New Brunswick. “Significant collaboration was required to secure a single SIEM contract, on behalf of 13 NREN partners, that was flexible enough to enable individual partners to shape the SIEM deployment to meet the unique needs of their stakeholders, while maintaining a standard security posture across the NREN.”

To further strengthen the cybersecurity initiative, each NREN partner organization has plans to acquire and develop the required security expertise to support the effective deployment of the SIEM infrastructure in their region, while strengthening the national cohort of NREN security specialists. Each province and territory also has the capability to deploy the SIEM infrastructure to address their unique regional and infrastructure requirements.

“Our cooperative procurement process and outcome respects the federated landscape by strengthening cybersecurity, while also respecting the individual needs of all NREN partners,” says Bala Kathiresan, Chair of the NREN Governance Committee. “It is a powerful model for digital research infrastructure that relies on investments and support from federal, provincial, territorial and institutional partners.”

For more information about the implications of the NREN SIEM deployment, and the impact on Canadian research and education institutions, contact Peter Jacobs (jacobs@unb.ca), Network Operations , Director Research Support Services, University of New Brunswick or Jeff MacDonald (jmacdonald@upei.ca), infrastructure and Network Design, University of Prince Edward Island.

About the NREN:

The National Research and Education Network (NREN) is an essential collective of infrastructure, tools and people that bolsters Canadian leadership in research, education, and innovation. CANARIE and its twelve provincial and territorial partners form Canada’s NREN. We connect Canada’s researchers, educators, and innovators to each other and to data, technology, and colleagues around the world.

About the ECN:

The provinces of New Brunswick and PEI each have a Provincial Research and Education Network. The two research and education networks work collaboratively through the New Brunswick – Prince Edward Island Educational Computer Network (ECN) which provides a sustainable, economical, and reliable high-speed network platform to educational and research organizations throughout the region. It connects them to research and innovation networks across Canada and around the world. The ECN is a model of collaboration and shared services across this geographically, economically, and linguistically diverse region.

-ECN