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CyberNB Gets News Digs At Cyber Centre

Author: Tyler Mclean , Huddle



Cyber Centre, a project driven by Knowledge Park and owned by regional economic development agency Ignite Fredericton, is a newly built, 142,000-square-foot building that houses major companies operating in Atlantic Canada’s tech sector, including Bulletproof Solutions, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories, Siemens and now officially, CyberNB.

Coming in at a capital cost of $37-million, Cyber Centre itself has become another asset for the region in its support of more than 600 cyber security jobs while adding more than $125-million in GDP for New Brunswick.

CyberNB officially took over its 12,000 square-foot space December 1 and welcomed many of its partners and stakeholders to an open house two days later.

CEO Tyson Johnson says the move to Cyber Centre was “four years in the making”.

He calls the physical relocation more of a “lift and shift” into a much more scalable and larger footprint–though he can’t help getting excited when he considers the new aspects of the arrangement. Those include a training and presentation area and sharing a bottom floor with companies like 123 Labs, one of three tenants Johnson says is subleasing from the CyberNB space.

The cross-section of tenants and subleases make the physical space collaborative by design, with Johnson saying the goal is to increase the level of interaction.

“Our job is to create a location in this facility that multiple tenants can collaborate and operate in, whether that’s the training center or whether it’s the Fusion Centre where, through membership, multiple companies are going to be operating,” he said.

CyberNB helped in the building’s design and Johnson said they’ve seen it turned from a bunch of trees, to a giant open area, into what is now “this gorgeous facility.”

The growing offices in Fredericton’s Knowledge Park, created in 1998, have now become the work scene for over 40 companies.

Johnson says roughly 50 percent of CyberNB’s staff will be located at Cyber Centre on a regular basis. Its other members will continue to be based out of Saint John, Moncton, and areas throughout Nova Scotia.

A Building For Secure Innovation

Knowledge Park touts the Cyber Centre as “operationally resilient.” It can function independently for up to 96 hours due to its post-disaster building design.

“The facility is purpose-built to support the cyber security ecosystem,” explained Johnson, “That means that the building is 24/7, 365 resilient.”

In addition to its shared infrastructure, Cyber Centre also contains onsite backup generation and is a Level 2 security capabilities location for national defence, in addition to also making use of Canada’s most advanced networking and data fiber infrastructure.

Johnson says having that type of critical infrastructure protection is the key focus of the ecosystem for the cluster. He says the Cyber Centre location allows those involved to be infrastructure owners and operators, in addition to offering managed services through providers that support infrastructure owners and operators across government and industry.

“Whether that’s energy or a utility or telecom, whatever it might be — this is now a centre of operation,” Johnson says.

The collaborative set-up inside CyberNB’s new space at Cyber Centre. (Credit: Kelly Baker Photography, Courtesy: CyberNB)

Most importantly for tenants like CyberNB, Johnson adds, another important reason to locate at Cyber Centre was its enhanced setting for more collaboration. That not only fits CyberNB’s core mandate, but also requires the necessary space to make such collaboration both productive and meaningful.

“We have a training centre here, just off the main lobby, which can be leveraged for any kind of event or training that might occur with multiple partners or with different members of the ecosystem hosting events,” says Johnson.

CyberNB now occupies an area that takes up roughly half of the first floor. Inside the secure space is a 4,000-square-foot collaboration and operations centre, called Fusion Centre, a space Johnson describes as giving access to multiple entities that are members.

Each is virtually and physically connected to share threat intelligence and best practices to help when incidents happen. The area also allows easier collaboration with government and industry across different sectors, something Johnson says does require the right setting in order to get things done.

“One of the biggest problems in the intelligence world, whether it’s government intelligence or it’s business intelligence, if you will, is nobody collaborates,” says Johnson. “Collaboration, it is often talked about but very poorly executed on and we’re trying to change the message by trying to create a reality that allows for sharing.”

Tyler Mclean is a Huddle reporter based in Fredericton. Send him your feedback and story ideas:

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