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New Conference Board Economic Indicator

The Conference Board's newly launched Composite Leading Index shows that the Canadian economy will grow in the first half of 2014 — but only modestly. The Index rose 0.3 per cent in December matching the gains made in both October and November. This trend signifies that the economy is growing, but Canadian growth will not pick up the pace until later in the year. The Composite Leading Index sums up the performance of ten components that track the short-term course of the economy.


The Falling Loonie

The biggest economic story of the new year has been the fall of the Canadian dollar. The Conference Board's assessment is that the drop in the dollar, if sustained, would have a small positive impact on economic growth in the short term. Some exporters may stand to benefit, but a declining loonie will also hit all Canadians in the pocketbook. More important than the value of the loonie is the signal it sends about the Canadian economy.

Taxis: That other supply management system

Shopping for milk and hailing a cab are two everyday activities that do not seem to have much in common. Yet, they are more alike than they appear at first glance. Dairy products are managed by a complicated system under which the amount to be produced is predetermined. Taxis are organized much the same way. Taxicab service remains tightly controlled even during times of high demand, such as the holiday season.

Why a Canadian Food Strategy?

Food impacts our lives, our health, our jobs, and our economy. Since 2010, the Conference Board's Centre for Food in Canada has been bringing together stakeholders from different sectors to create a Canadian Food Strategy—one that will meet the country's need for a coordinated, long-term strategy on industry prosperity, healthy and safe food, household food security, and environmental sustainability. The strategy will be launched at the 3rd Canadian Food Summit 2014: From Strategy to Action on March 18–19 in Toronto.

Measuring and Managing Innovation

It is perhaps the worst-kept economic secret in the country. Canada does not take advantage of its innovation capabilities, and that is impeding its growth potential. Canadian firms can use metrics to improve their innovation activities and competitiveness. However, almost 40 per cent of Canadian companies don't measure the success of their innovation activities at all. Of those firms that do, most use the kinds of measures that don't actually link well to their organizations' bottom-line results.

Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region's Top Employers

The Conference Board of Canada is proud to announce that it has again been recognized as one of the National Capital Region's Top Employers for 2014. This marks the fifth time in seven years that the Conference Board has been named to the list of top employers in the Ottawa region. A key to our success is our ability to attract and retain outstanding talent, and this recognition only strengthens our position as an employer of choice.

CBoC Highlights

Photo of the Hon. Jason T. Kenney Photo of Vijay Gill

Satyamoorthy Kabilan, Director, National Security and Strategic Foresight, delivered a presentation on security and intelligence at the Canadian International Council dinner that aired on CPAC on January 18.

Pedro Antunes, Director, National and Provincial Forecast, discussed Canada's December job losses and the economy on CBC's Power & Politics on January 10.

In This Issue

  • New Conference Board Economic Indicator
  • The Falling Loonie
  • Taxis: That other supply management system
  • Why a Canadian Food Strategy?
  • Measuring and Managing Innovation
  • Conference Board of Canada One of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers

Previous Issues


MyService—The Toronto Police Service’s Journey on Transforming its Culture
Sep 16 at 2:00 PM

Latest Blogs

Building Cyber Resiliency

Aug 15, 2018
Rachael Bryson
Senior Research Associate,
National Security and Public Safety

On March 1 and 2, The Conference Board of Canada hosted a cyber security conference, bringing together experts and practitioners to discuss the theme of “Building Resilience Now and For the Future.” Building cyber resilience is about more than preventing attacks; it’s about being able to limit the impact of attacks that do occur, and being able to resume regular business faster. This requires a fundamental change in how we think about and plan for cyber incidents, including data breaches. Our expert speakers and panellists shared their insights and recommendations for building resilience across organizations.

Address Cyber Security’s Place Within Organizational Culture

One theme that was repeated over the course of the conference was that cyber security experts are not seen as enablers. Rather, they are seen as “no” people, who impede progress on the organization’s business goals. This aspect of the organizational culture needs to change to facilitate better collaboration between cyber security and all other business areas, and to encourage positive partnerships rather than adversarial relationships. One expert suggested that cyber security practitioners stop defaulting to the “if there’s a security feature, enable it” mindset and instead start working with others to see how safe cyber practices can be integrated into their work.

Build a Cyber Resilience Program

Achieving resilience in every organization starts at the top. Executive-level support and buy-in is needed to develop a program that can help the organization achieve its desired level of cyber capabilities—whether it be 24/7/365 monitoring and response; the ability to conduct advanced cyber analytics, advanced hacking, and malware protection; or initiating a complete enterprise-wide cyber defence strategy. The needs and cyber security goals of each organization should be identified, and a plan implemented on how to get there.
An important part of that plan should be regular training across the entire organization. Training and experience are the building block elements that an organization requires to become more resilient. Every lesson learned or skill developed during a training exercise, and each time an organization survives a real cyber incident, adds to the building block—helping to enhance resilience. Organizations should test their technology and responsiveness regularly through exercises, and stay informed on emerging threats or patterns of concerning activities.

Have the Right People in Place

Having the right advisors in place in the event of a crisis can help strategize a response that will mitigate damage and help an organization return to business as usual. It is important to have frank conversations with the board of directors as well as cyber insurers to determine who to reach out to for a variety of scenarios. For example, establishing legal privilege under which to carry out certain conversations may be essential, as is knowing who will manage communications when news of an incident is made public.
When dealing with a criminal element, such as during a ransomware attack, it’s also important to use an experienced incident responder, such as a breach coach, who can provide advice on the best course of action that needs to be taken and ensure that all precautions are taken if negotiations are entered into to unlock the ransomed data. While these measures are meant to be back-up options—and should do not replace preventative cyber security practices—they are necessary to have in place before a crisis hits.

Enable Collaboration and Information-Sharing

Internal collaboration and information-sharing across the organization can help to detect, prevent, and mitigate the severity of cyber security incidents. Collaboration can help to break down silos within the organization, which can be a persistent problem for cyber security. A better understanding of cyber security by all employees can not only improve the implementation of security practices, but also generate better understanding of how cyber security can support business goals.

Opportunities for information-sharing across the organization can help maximize research resources, provide sharable and actionable information, and identify patterns of attacks already experienced. By sharing resources, organizations have the chance to make attacking them (or their area) as difficult and expensive as possible, dis-incentivizing criminal actions. In fact, one presenter believed that almost 40 per cent of cyber attacks could have been avoided had internal, multi-area information-sharing been in place. Some organizations are already establishing networks, such as sharing hubs and multi-area collaboration centres, to facilitate data exchange—thus, building a better picture of the threat landscape.

Building cyber resiliency is not a single-solution strategy. It involves buy-in from the executive level, establishing comprehensive plans and policies, providing ongoing training, and thinking outside of the traditional constraints of the organization. We will continue to explore this shift in dealing with cyber threats with a more in-depth research briefing at the end of 2018.

Related Webinar

Understanding Cyber and Physical Security Convergence
The Conference Board of Canada, June 7, 2018 at 02:00 PM EDT