Cyber Security Awareness Month 2023 campaign highlights

As part of Cyber Security Awareness Month 2023, University of Toronto launched a month-long campaign to spread security awareness and bring the tri-campus community together to discuss security matters.

The theme of this year’s campaign revolved around the newly released Information Security strategy, with both virtual and in-person events focusing on the four information security strategic objectives. Check out this year’s highlight

Cyber Security Awareness Month campaign web pages

The campaign and resources web pages acted as a one-stop shop, featuring information about the campaign, events and digital and educational resources, all geared towards promoting information security awareness. The pages gained a total of 640 views over the month of October.

Meet and greet: Information Security at U of T

On Oct. 17, more than 135 students visited the Information Security booth at Bahen Centre’s atrium. The booth offered games and giveaways to enhance students’ information security knowledge. Visitors engaged with the tri-campus Information Security team, including Chief Information Security Officer, Isaac Straley. The conversations ranged from online safety tips, and privacy to cybersecurity careers and more.

Listening to researchers: Safeguarding data and intellectual property

On Oct. 12, the virtual event started with Professor Karl Zabjek discussing the intersection of data security and ethics and outlining a researcher’s daily challenges. The panelists discussed challenges in their areas caused by new technologies and new government policies/requirements, and highlighted where improvements in the supporting and facilitation of research can and should be made. Particular focus was placed on the essential role of collaboration in research and reducing risks within inter-institutional work.

Secure together: Addressing information security risks

On Oct. 26, the University’s information security experts discussed how they are addressing security risks and challenges within their areas. They talked about the role of information security strategic initiatives in furthering risk management goals, highlighting efforts such as the Information Security Risk Management Program, EndPoint Protection Program and the Security Awareness and Training Program.

Converging for excellence: Tri-campus Information Security collaboration

The final panel event on Oct. 31 focused on achieving excellence through collaboration and featured tri-campus panelists who talked about collaborating on security matters through various forums, including the Information Security Council and project steering committees. They highlighted collaborative initiatives, campus-wide efforts, and supportive tools like the IT@UofT Inclusive Language Guide.

The panel events had more than 130 attendees overall. Attendees indicated that they gained valuable insights about information security and encouraged more collaborative events that include multiple units for discussion.

Although CSAM 2023 has concluded, our shared responsibility for information security remains. We all play a part in protecting ourselves and the University from the risks of online threats. We are truly secure together.

Keep visiting the Security Matters website for more information security news and updates.

Cyber Security Month 2022 recap: U of T community learns how to stay “Secure Together”

Cyber Security Month is an international campaign held every October to highlight the importance of information security and help Canadians understand how to stay safe online.

Cyber Security Month 2022 at the University of Toronto was hosted by the Information Security team, in partnership with Education, Awareness & Culture. This year’s campaign offered the community virtual and in-person events and educational resources on how to protect ourselves and the University against top information security threats.

“Cyber Security Month is celebrated every year at U of T to educate the tri-campus community about the importance of information safety. Continuing our efforts to create a security aware culture, the main objective of this year’s campaign was to remind everyone about the information security resources available to the community.” says Kalyani Khati, Associate Director, Information Security Strategic Initiatives. “We are happy that this was a successful campaign. This year was especially exciting as we were able to host both in-person and virtual events.”

The Cyber Security Month 2022 campaign page gained a total of 527 views over the month. The engagement (likes, re-tweets, clicks, follows etc.) for Cyber Security month content on CyberAware social media channels also saw an increase of 10 per cent on Twitter and 80 per cent increase on Instagram from last year. The increase in engagement helped us to reach and educate a broader audience about information security.

Cyber Security Month 2022 events

As a prelude to Cyber Security month, the Information Security team partnered with the Ministry of Public and Business Service Delivery to host a hybrid panel event called “Securing your Future: Bridging the Cyber Security Talent Gap”. Post-secondary students from across Ontario heard from experts about how to break into the industry, with or without technical education or experience. Read more about the event.

Cyber Security Month 2022 hybrid panel event collage

Along with the hybrid panel event, U of T hosted Coffee with the CISO events for staff, faculty and students. There was a 92 per cent increase in this year’s event attendance from 2021.

The Coffee with the CISO event for staff and faculty was held virtually and welcomed 54 attendees. Isaac Straley, CISO discussed the potential cyber security risks for U of T and the recommended approach to addressing them.

Virtual Coffee with the CISo group photo

The Coffee with the CISO events for students were held in-person at UTM and UTSC campuses which were attended by 28 students. The events provided a great opportunity for the students to learn more about information security, gain insights about careers in the industry and engage with various members of the information security team at U of T.

When asked about building experience in the field of information security, Isaac said, “Capture the flag exercises are a good way to gain practical experience to prepare for a career in information security. These exercises help to demonstrate your ability to practice security and react to ‘real world’ scenarios.”

Coffee with the CISO at UTSC mingling session

UTM Coffee with the CISO event

Attendees who provided feedback via the post-event survey indicated that they gained valuable insights about information security, careers in the industry, and how factors like experience and trust are key for this field.

Cyber Security Month 2022 was yet another successful campaign that provided U of T staff, faculty and students with many opportunities to learn how to stay safe online. Let’s remember to stay “Secure together” year-round.

Visit our 2022 campaign resources webpage for information that will help you to stay safe and secure online. Don’t forget to visit the Security Matters website regularly for more information security news.

Sign up for Cyber Security Awareness Month events!

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, an internationally recognized campaign held annually to spread awareness about the importance of information security and encourage Canadians to use best practices. 2021 marks the 10-year anniversary of the campaign, and the Information Technology Services’ (ITS) Information Security team is hosting a variety of virtual events to show you how to keep your information secure.

Coffee with the CISO: Let's talk information security

Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Microsoft Teams)

Coffee with the CISO: Let’s talk information security

Do you have questions about the information security sector? Are you thinking about a career in information security? Are you interested in how the University of Toronto (U of T) is navigating the evolution of ever-changing technology?

Grab a coffee and join us virtually for an informal and open conversation, hosted by Isaac Straley, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), U of T.

This session will feature a brief presentation from Isaac, followed by a 40-minute interactive Q&A. Bring your questions and come ready to chat with the CISO!

Please note: This event is open to U of T students only, with a capacity limited to 30 attendees. RSVP by Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Registered attendees will be entered for a chance to win a Starbucks e-gift card!


Coffee with the CISO: Information security over the past decade

Friday, Oct. 22, 2021, 11 am – 12 pm (Microsoft Teams)

Coffee with the CISO: Then and now – information security over the past decade

How has the information security sector grown over the last decade? What initiatives has U of T implemented to adapt to these changes? How is information security an enabler, and what are the best ways to navigate the landscape of secure computing?

Join us at this virtual event, hosted by Isaac Straley, CISO, U of T, for an open conversation about the challenges and accomplishments of the information security sector. Grab a coffee and engage in a brief presentation followed by a 40-minute interactive Q&A session with the CISO.

Please note: This event is open to U of T staff and faculty only, with a capacity limited to 30 attendees. RSVP by Thursday, Oct. 21.

Registered attendees will be entered for a chance to win a Starbucks e-gift card!


Secure Together virtual panel event

Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Microsoft Live)

Secure Together – An information security virtual panel event

Effective information security is an essential part of staying safe in our increasingly virtual world. In this one-hour virtual panel event, you will hear from experts in information security and workforce infrastructures, nation state threats and governmental policy.

Isaac Straley (Moderator)
Chief Information Security Officer
U of T

Abdullah Alagha (Panelist)
Cloud Security Consulting Lead, Accenture
Cyber Security Instructor, U of T

Ron Deibert (Panelist)
Director, the Citizen Lab, Professor, Political Science
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
U of T

Julia Le (Panelist)
Senior Manager, Cyber Security Education
& Centre of Excellence, Ontario Government

Q&A session to follow. All U of T students, staff and faculty are welcome. RSVP by Monday, Oct. 25.

Registered attendees will have a chance to win a $50 gift card to the U of T campus bookstore!



All events are complimentary. We look forward to celebrating Cyber Security Awareness Month with you!