As global hacks and data breaches continue to dominate headlines, Alberta educators are moving to increase the sophistication of their security tools, while collaborating on a joint line of defense. Last month, Alberta’s ShareIT procurement program added security services to its catalogue of offerings. In addition, ShareIT is now offering a learning platform for members to share best practices.
As of October 29, 2018, Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing services from EWA-Canada have been made available to all ShareIT members. These testing and recommendations systems help identify potential vulnerabilities, and assess the risks associated with cyber threats. Higher learning institutions in Alberta are required to perform these assessments every year to ensure the privacy and security of their online systems.
ShareIT has also developed a common platform (including a resource wiki, and facilitated education sessions) for members to access information, knowledge sharing, and best practices on software licensing (including Microsoft Licensing), and new technologies, including virtualization tools.
ShareIT is an Alberta-based shared service that is overseen by representatives from the province’s post-secondary institutions, and is managed by Cybera (Alberta’s not-for-profit technology accelerator). The program leverages economies of scale to give participants (including K-12 school districts) access to a broader, more powerful, and more economical suite of computing technologies.
Launched in early 2017, by September 2018 the service had achieved over $5 million in savings for its participating members. (For the latest metrics on ShareIT’s member sector breakdown, and accumulated savings to date, view the service dashboard).
“We’re very excited to be launching what we hope will be the first in a broad catalogue of security services available to ShareIT members,” says Barb Carra, COO for Cybera. “Cybersecurity has become a major concern for the education community, as the number of cyber threats grow and the attack vectors become more sophisticated. Through collaborative efforts such as this, Alberta’s education sector will be better positioned to ensure the online security and privacy of its staff and students.”
In early 2019, ShareIT will be also be adding Cloud Services Providers to its catalogue. Contracting is expected to be completed in January.
For more information, and to find out how to join ShareIT, contact ShareIT@cybera.ca.