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Cyber Security in the Boardroom: Increasing your Board’s Cyber Literacy

The Conference Board of Canada, August 25, 2015
Recorded Webinar
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Data is a company’s greatest asset; and as technology changes, important data such as customer knowledge and product specifications are intrinsically linked to its IT infrastructure.

Recent high-profile events have shown that corporate espionage, hacking, and internal factors such as employee carelessness with IT and IT infrastructure can quickly destroy a company's reputation and its market value. When Target's credit card and debit card systems were hacked, the personal information of over 70 million of its customers was breached, the company's market value fell, its CEO Gregg Steinhafel resigned, and institutional investors recommended that seven of the company's board members be removed.

Boards of directors have a crucial role in setting risk tolerances and approving risk management within an organization. IT governance is one of the most pressing issues facing companies today, yet despite this, there remains a disconnect in knowledge and understanding between IT professionals and board members, hindering their ability to effectively manage cyber risks.

Directors need to be thorough in overseeing cyber risk as part of their IT governance oversight. As the number of digital attacks increase, the need for cyber literacy in the boardroom could not be more vital. Unfortunately, many boardrooms today don't have the skills or experience needed in this area.

Webinar Highlights


Don’t miss this chance to hear Former Chief of the Communications Security Establishment (CSE), Mr. John Adams, as he provides an essential overview of the current cyber environment, the potential risks faced by organizations like yours, and actions you can take to help mitigate potential risks. In collaboration with Darren Knight of CFN Consultants, John will help you understand the fundamental IT governance issues, and allow your organization to improve dialogue between directors and IT security; better understand the business impact of cyber threats; and provide effective guidance to protect the organization while controlling direct and indirect costs associated with cyber risks.

In this 60 minute webinar, John and Darren will examine:

  • Cyber definitions and its impact on Canadian businesses;
  • Cost effective mitigation strategies and action plans;
  • Tactics and tools for directors to engage with IT professionals and improve cyber literacy.

About John

photo of John AdamsJohn Adams is the current Skelton-Clarke Fellow at the School of Policy Studies at Queen’s University, and is the former Chief of the Communications Security Establishment Canada and Associate Deputy Minister of National Defence. He was appointed in July 2005.

John graduated from RMC, earning a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Chemical Engineering in 1965. Adams is also a Rhodes Scholar after graduating, in 1967, with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford University, in England, in 1967. He also graduated from the Army Staff College as well as the National Defence College. Adams joined the Canadian Forces in 1967 and served until 1993. He took on many roles, from command of 1 Combat Engineer Regiment in Chilliwack, British Columbia (CFB Chilliwack) to posts at National Defence Headquarters. He retired with the rank of Major-General.

After his retirement from the Canadian Forces, Adams was appointed Assistant Deputy Minister, Infrastructure and Environment, for National Defence. He left that post in 1998. From 2003 to June 2005, as Associate Deputy Minister and Commissioner of the Canadian Coast Guard, and from 1998 to 2003 as Assistant Deputy Minister, Marine Services and Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard for Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

About Darren

photo of Darren KnightDarren Knight is an associate of CFN Consultants, based in Ottawa. Prior to joining CFN, he enjoyed a career as an Intelligence Officer in the Canadian Forces, retiring at the rank of Captain (Royal Canadian Navy) while appointed to the position of Director General Intelligence Capabilities. Following his military service he entered the private sector, working with Lockheed Martin Canada for several years before joining CFN Consultants in 2011.

Darren is a graduate of the Royal Military College and the Canadian Forces Command & Staff College. His military career included active duty in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, provision of intelligence support to operations in Afghanistan, and command of the Navy’s Joint Ocean Surveillance and Information Centre, known as "TRINITY". Among other staff appointments, he served as the Director of the National Defence Command Centre and was Canada’s military intelligence liaison officer in Washington DC. Over the years, he has tended to specialize in Information Technology applications that support complex operations and the decision-making process, at one point being recognized for his work in this field by the Governor General with the award of the Meritorious Service Medal. In more recent years, he has become actively involved the emerging field of Cyber security.

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