CyberBC & Grow with Us

Cyber BC Logo

In January 2023, the OCIO Information Security Branch initiated the CyberBC pilot project to strengthen the cybersecurity ecosystem in the public sector.

The purpose of CyberBC is to improve the security posture of broader public sector (BPS) entities in developing a pilot program and beginning incremental implementation of cybersecurity programming and services for the BPS.

Through CyberBC the province facilitates engagement with our interested parties and partners to better understand B.C.'s cybersecurity landscape, and explore interest in collaborating on opportunities to:

  • Raise the collective bar for cybersecurity in the face of increased threats
  • Address the cybersecurity talent gap & create rewarding jobs for cybersecurity workers
  • Develop, deliver, and test the value of expanded services and supports

CyberBC Initiative

Initiative Purpose:

To strengthen B.C.'s cybersecurity ecosystem by collaborating with public sector partners to design and deliver cybersecurity services and supports to B.C.'s Broader Public Sector.

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • B.C.'s public sector has a strong and sustainable talent pipeline to address cybersecurity need
  • B.C.'s public sector cybersecurity community benefits from timely access to cross-organizational insight
  • B.C.'s public sector has ready and cost-effective access to the tools and resources they need
  • Cybersecurity standards and practices are mature and aligned across the B.C.'s public sector
  • Desicion-makers and employees within B.C.'s public sector understand cybersecurity risk and how they can be proactive

Currently Available Services:

External Security Services
Emergency notifications, vulnerability notifications, weekly news digests, monthly awareness updates, and a monthly information conference call

Defensible Security
Helps organizations understand how to protect their information systems and assets from cyberattacks (through security prerequisites, directives, respiratory controls and embedding controls, and an assessment tool).

Corporate Supply Arrangement
An agreement with a qualified supplier (or multiple suppliers) to sell specific goods/services at set prices.

And other services to support security needs
Including, but not restricted to, phishing campaigns, incident support, concierge services and public enquiries.

Grow with Us

Grow with Us is an enhanced co-op program that was introduced by the Information Security Branch. Grow with Us brings together a group of students from post secondary institutions around B.C. and provides them with experience in the realm of information security. Students have opportunities to develop their knowledge, resumes, and leadership skills. Students will be given an opportunity to start as co-ops and use that experience to move into auxiliary and full time jobs.

A Message From Our Co-ops

From Issue to Opportunity: The Issue

Ministries increasingly need senior-level cybersecurity talent. The market for these specialized skills is very tight, and the current recruitment approach is well intended, however, the outcomes are often unsuccessful.

Staff in the BCPS' (limited) junior-level cybersecurity roles do not typically have the skills, knowledge, experience, or credentials to advance into more senior roles. Ministries do not often hire for junior roles because it takes too long to train and job profiles are not progressive.

While the current cybersecurity co-op initiative has demonstrated success, without dedicated resources the approach remains ad-hoc. There is an opportunity and necessity for internal resources that provide significant program and individual support.

The OCIO is committed to supporting the Public Service Agency's goal of an increasingly diverse workforce with representation from underrepresented groups traditionally under-represented in the tech sector.

The Opportunity

British Columbia and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) can demonstrate leadership with a human-centered, iterative approach to fostering cybersecurity talent and share solutions with Broader Public Sector and interjurisdictional partners.

Through the Grow with Us program, our objective is to create a cohesive and clearly defined cybersecurity career path in the B.C. Public Service, and recruit creatively from a diverse talent pool that includes:

  • co-op students
  • recent graduates from technical and non-technical programs
  • individuals from underrepresented groups
  • individuals with non-traditional transferable skills (including career transition from BCPS and other non-technical sectors)
  • established cybersecurity professionals (current staff of the BCPS and BPS)