Congratulations! You have made it to the end of our 10th annual Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) 2021.

This year’s CSAM theme revolved around Building Cyber Resilience in the Ontario Public Service (OPS) and Broader Public Service (BPS) organizations. Cyber resilience is the ability to prepare, respond and recover from a cyber-attack, which is paramount to defending against today’s complex and highly sophisticated cyber threat actors. A good cyber resilience strategy includes an educational strategy, which is the foundation of this year’s campaign.

CSAM Highlights

  • Woman working on a laptop with a magnifying glass zooming in on the CSAM homepage

    This year's CSAM we have over 2,200 registrants and over 36,000 page views. A 18% increase from previous years!

  • Laptop and phone locked with people staying cyber secure

    We also released two new eLearning modules on Cyber Security Best Practices and Countering Cyber Threats on our Cyber Security Learning Portal found at cybersecurityontario.ca.

  • Abstract background with CSAM icons and 'Anatomy of a Hack' in text

    This year’s campaign revolved around The Anatomy of the Hack, where we explored how a well-organized attack unfolds through storytelling in a weekly graphic novel series.

  • Person receiving an email that has malware

    The novel begins with an employee who opened an email that unknowingly downloaded malware onto her computer eventually progressing into a widespread disruption of services.

  • Person using multiple different methods of authentication

    We were able to take a deep dive into topics such as social engineering, multi-factor authentication, cyber hygiene and ransomware.

  • Person watching an interactive video

    We created an interactive video each week to demonstrate how you can spot cyber threats.

  • Preview of cyber blogs and weekly quizzes

    Cyber blogs and interactive quizzes strengthened and reinforced your cyber security knowledge.

  • Preview of the knowledge library with a graphic of a woman at a desk working on a laptop

    From how to be cyber safe at home to password protection, the knowledge library is your one-stop for all things cyber security.

  • Students gathering to stay cyber secure

    A great number of students from 39 post-secondary institutions came together to hear a panel discussion from cyber security experts about entering into the field of cyber security.

  • Person on a laptop screen asking questions

    We hosted two Ask-Me-Anything sessions featuring cyber experts from the Cyber Security Division to answer questions related to the current cyber landscape.

  • A person informing another person about cyber security

    We were excited to see questions about global cyber threats such as ransomware, cyber hygiene, and tips on becoming cyber safe.

Our Cyber Security Division ensures that the Ontario government continues to operate securely and meet its digital service commitments, while protecting the personal and private information of Ontarians.

John Roberts, Chief Information Security Officer

It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that we are engaging with the Internet in a safe and secure manner.

David Langille, Head of Cyber Security Strategy, Risk Management and Architecture Branch

Why is CSAM important?

Phishing scams and ransomware have increasingly been caused by human error and it is more important than ever to have good cyber security practices at home and in the workplace to avoid being victim.

The implementation of cyber security practices into your personal and work routine can potentially limit the impacts of cyber threats to you and the digital services and infrastructure of your organization.

Our Cyber Security Division ensures that the Ontario government continues to operate securely and meet its digital service commitments, while protecting the personal and private information of Ontarians.

John Roberts, Chief Information Security Officer

It is incumbent upon all of us to ensure that we are engaging with the Internet in a safe and secure manner.

David Langille, Head of Cyber Security Strategy, Risk Management and Architecture Branch

Securing Ontario and the BPS

The OPS held its 2nd annual conference for Building Cyber Resilience: Securing Ontario’s Public Sector which had nearly 700 registrants. From hosting a ransomware simulation with executives across North America discussing their experiences of a cyber-attack, the conference discussed current global cyber threats and processes for risk management, policy, and governance to identify where the OPS and Ontario’s BPS organizations can promote and improve on cyber resilient strategies.

A lot of our work is focused on ensuring the protection of Ontarian’s data which is held by government. But we also recognize that cybersecurity is a big issue for all parts of the digital economy. Our aim is not just a cybersecure public sector, but a cyber resilient Ontario.

Honourable Minister Ross Romano

people from different industries being cyber secure

Partner Successes

CSAM is celebrated internationally and we would like to thank our partners for their support and collaboration by celebrating their CSAM successes and key takeaways.

people from different industries being cyber secure

Canada School of Public Service

The Canada School of Public Service held its 4th Annual Cyber Security Conference on October 7th about “Maintaining Open and Safe Cyber Security Design for All.” The event was truly a collaborative effort, with partners from the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Shared Services Canada, University of Ottawa, and more.

Communications Security Establishment

Get Cyber Safe is the national lead for Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) in Canada. And at Get Cyber Safe, every month is Cyber Security Awareness Month! We inform Canadians about cyber security best practices year-round, and we especially look forward to each October when we work with dedicated partners from all sectors across the country. This year’s CSAM theme was “Life Happens Online”, and we highlighted all the ways the internet allowed us to stay connected and find a new "normal" in our lives.

A wonderful introduction to the complex exchange between policy, data, and tech. I`m very new to public service and working with technology, but I found it easy to follow, well paced, and truly exciting!

Canada School of Public Service

A group of people putting a puzzle together

It is thanks to our over 200 CSAM partners that this year’s campaign was one of the most successful ones to date.

Communications Security Establishment

Cyber hygiene tips to follow

  • Disable your camera and location services when not in use.

  • Participate in safe browsing. Pay attention to system warnings and avoid untrusted websites.

  • Be cautious about people you don’t know who may approach you online.

  • Lock your device when not in use.

  • Think before you click on any links or email attachments.

  • Ensure all your software is up to date.

  • Create unique and complex passwords.

  • Interested in more cyber hygiene tips, visit the Cyber hygiene page.

Key Takeaways


  • Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated.

  • Collaboration and partnerships are key to solving the pressing threats facing Canadians.

  • To get ahead, we need to foster an open and collaborative cyber security culture.

  • We need to be proactive when it comes to cyber security through normalizing good cyber hygiene.

Person holding up a pencil

It's not the end of CSAM?

We thank all our participants for attending our cyber events throughout CSAM 2021. Although CSAM has come to an end, we encourage you to put your cyber security knowledge into practice by implementing what you have learned into your work and personal routines.

If you have any questions about cyber security or this year’s CSAM, please email cybersecurity@ontario.ca for more information.

ECOE Team Member Avatars

Partners

Logo of the Ontario Provincial Police
Logo of the University of Toronto
Logo of MISA Ontario
Logo of the Association of Municipalities Ontario
Logo of the City of Mississauga
Logo of British Columbia
Logo of ORION
Logo of Get Cyber Safe