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Showcase Ontario Summary

posted 27 Sep 2010, 13:03 by Dennis Ideler   [ updated 4 Jun 2011, 21:39 ]

I attended Showcase 2010 for one day and registered for four events, those four were:
  1. Security: Viruses, Trojans, and other Malware: How we Defend the Network and Investigate Security Incidents
  2. Digital Wildfire Reporting
  3. Architecture: Using Business Reference Models
  4. Security: "Doing the Right Thing:" Acceptable Use of I&IT Resources
Due to time restraints (lunch and exhibition expo) I only went to two events:
  1. Security: Viruses, Trojans, and other Malware
  2. I&IT Innovation Panel*
* I didn't have to register for this event.

Event #1 - Security

We learned how the OPS overlooks ~75,000 workstations (i.e. all workstations connected to the network) and makes sure they're safe and being used for acceptable reasons.

They have some suite of tools that let them analyze many different things, they even use Twitter to stay up to the date on the latest security news.

Before they can take action, they have to find a "needle in the haystack". Three things that raise suspicion:
  1. Excessive bandwidth usage
  2. Unusual amount of blocked pages/sites
  3. Locked out of account
1: It can be malware that has outgoing connections (and possibly also incoming) and the user will have no clue. It can also be public servants downloading movies, streaming media, etc.

2: Either the public servant is deliberately trying to access many blocked sites (e.g. porn, youtube, facebook), or there is malware trying to access a blacklisted site and keeps making attempts that are unknown to the computer user.

3: A user has gotten their password stolen by a coworker (or someone else) and they are locked out of their account.

If anything looks suspicious then the case is sent over to the IT Forensics Unit.

A resolution can range from a manager reprimanding an employee, to a court-case.
Event #2 - I&IT Innovation Panel

The discussion was on "Building Ontario's Knowledge Economy: Challenges, Potentials and Innovations".

The panelists were
  • Sir Terrance Matthews - Chairman of Wellesley Clover, Mitel and March Networks. Awarded Knighthood in 2001
  • P. Thomas Jenkins - Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of OpenText of Waterloo, Ontario. Also serves as the chair of the Federal Centre of Excellence Canadian Digital Economy
  • Donald H. Morrison - Chief Operating Officer of Research in Motion
Highlights from Sir Matthews:
  • Started over 80 companies
    • ~4 per year
    • 6 failed
  • Need "first mover advantage" to be successful
  • Find interest and buyers first, then start company; not vice-versa as many do (i.e. do not speculate about the market)
  • Get connections (he talked of an "umbrella structure") and use them as marketing channels
  • Small companies need to make alliances (usually with other small companies) to get noticed
  • Hire fresh grads. They have no "luggage" (more flexibile lifestyle, no marriage, family, mortgage, etc.). They are excited to do the work, and need little pay - they like the experience and would rather have shares of the company in the long run
  • Start ups create new jobs
  • Canadian government needs to invest in Canadian companies
Highlights from Jenkins:
  • Canada's smaller scale (compared to US for example) is actually an advantage. Places with large scales over complicate processes. It's much easier if you have a smaller scale workforce. Yet Canada has worst of both worlds because we don't use this advantage, we are small scale but try to do things at a large scale and unnecessarily over complicate things.