National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance Canada is a newly formed collaborative organization where multi-sector teams can join together to leverage each other's skill sets and resources to better address the needs of its partners. Representatives from law enforcement, government, industry and academia have created this organization to address the rapidly growing problem of e-commerce crime. NCFTA Canada has been established, developed and staffed by the experts from industry, academia, public sector and law enforcement.
NCFTA Canada campus is currently housed at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Additional laboratory campuses are planned to be established that will effectively combine resources, intelligence, and expertise across the country. These additional collaborations will be linked to the Montreal campus through a secure Virtual Private Network (VPN), thereby significantly enhancing the public-private information and the associated resource synergies that have already been developed. We welcome all Canadian organizations to benefit from our research and development effort. We value new partnerships between public, private, and academic organizations to combine resources, intelligence and expertise.
Academia will benefit from the interaction with public and private institutions. Such interaction will provide the needed stimuli to conduct and shape relevant academic research on interesting and challenging real-life problems and will improve the knowledge of cyber-forensics through research initiatives. This interaction will also provide students with exposure and training opportunities that will heighten their level of professional competence by gaining practical expertise and research-based knowledge. The activities conducted within the proposed collaboration will definitely contribute to the enhancement and development of university curricula in Cyber-Forensics and Information Security.
University and college groups will receive extensive training along with possibilities of funding and future recruitment. The core benefits are:
- Faculty members, together with highly qualified graduate students, will constitute the research arm of NCFTA Canada;
- The proposed collaboration will be a framework for sharing, under appropriate terms, the research results from relevant projects being conducted in academia; and
- Specialized curricula and courses will create training opportunities for NCFTA Canada members and participating students will gain industrial exposure and unique hands-on experience.
In this collaboration, both public and private organizations will share and gain access to pooled resources that include time-sensitive intelligence and new threat/mitigation intelligence on Cyber-Crime. This collaboration will enable the creation of intelligence that is current, relevant and will provide specific details regarding the evolving threats that may render systems inoperable or exploit sensitive confidential information. These evolving threats have the potential to cause significant damage to the Canadian economy.
Private organizations, when working collaboratively, may use this information to mitigate the potential threats and to protect their sensitive information at a significantly lower cost based on the sharing of resources rather than working as single entities.
The time and resources required of each partner to replicate the capacity of NCFTA Canada would be labour intensive and cost prohibitive. The intelligence generated from the pooling of resources will be greater than the aggregate resources of each individual entity. In some cases, the entity has no resources to dedicate or the proposed resources need to be developed.
Industrial groups will develop dynamic best practices on maximizing response and recovery options, evidence handling and mitigating threats:
- Better pooled intelligence that is used across sector(s). This also reduces exposure during the early hours of the attack and provides the participants of NCFTA Canada with early warning such that an attacker hitting one company at a time will be less successful over time;
- Most industry sectors are driven by processes. NCFTA Canada will help participants improve their internal and external processes thereby reducing their expenses over time; and
- Access to resources that may not be available otherwise.
Public Sector Membership
Law enforcement will benefit from the early detection of criminal behavior. This will be crucial in developing appropriate and viable strategies to address the behaviour. It will be critical that law enforcement have access to the information gathered by private industry, public sector and academia to ensure that their efforts are intelligence-led and focus on the areas of greatest impact and/or concern.
The preservation and integrity of digital evidence is critical to a successful prosecution. The applicable laws and regulations in Canada will govern the preservation and handling of any digital evidence and or data. Law enforcement will work closely with the other partners in order to:
- Ascertain criminal behavior;
- Identify strategies for addressing the criminal activity; and
- Ensure the preservation of digital evidence in support of a criminal investigation.