two students facing computer screens in a classroom
Students in U of G’s Cybersecurity and Intelligence Threat program

Establishing about 100 internships over the next five years for students in the University of Guelph’s master of cybersecurity and threat intelligence (MCTI) program is the goal of a new partnership with Mitacs.

U of G and Mitacs, a national research organization, recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to provide funding for MCTI students to engage in hands-on training with private industry and government partners.

“This type of collaboration is critical and provides important opportunities for the University, MCTI students and our industry partners,” said Dr. Ali Dehghantanha, MCTI program director and Tier II Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence.

“These partnerships allow us to deepen connections across different areas of cybersecurity research and support advancements in our field, which will ensure safer digital and online activity. This MOU with Mitacs will further student experiences in the program while providing additional pathways to connect with private industry and government partners.”

The MCTI program prepares students for careers in cybersecurity, threat intelligence and digital forensics, developed with input from a top-tier advisory board of industry leaders in technology and finance. Students learn about threat intelligence, threat hunting, digital forensics, intrusion prevention, privacy and crypto-analysis.

Dr. Ali Dehghantanha, MCTI program director and Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence

The program has garnered significant industry interest since its launch in 2019. Nearly two dozen globally recognized technology organizations have partnered with the program, including Cisco, IBM, Microsoft, McAfee, BMO, RCMP, eSentire and ISA Cybersecurity.

Industry partners have noted the positive outcomes of the program and impressive contributions of MCTI students for the projects, said Dehghantanha. “The students were able to tackle significant challenges and support project success.”

Mitacs, a research organization that drives innovation through fostering partnerships between industry, academia and government, has a longstanding relationship with U of G.

By providing funding, this new partnership with Mitacs will help attract additional industry interest in the program and build on the University’s existing strength in computer science and growing reputation in cybersecurity, said Eric Bosco, chief business development and partnerships officer for Mitacs.

“Mitacs is pleased to establish this five-year partnership allowing for streamlined review processes and enhanced opportunities for the University of Guelph’s MCTI students,” he said. “We look forward to working closely with the administration at U of G and graduate students on increased industry collaborations and research pathways.”

The MOU was signed by Bosco and Karina McInnis, U of G associate vice-president (research services).