A Note from Kevin Dawson, our President and CEO – 2019 was a Transformative Year for ISA Cybersecurity

2019 – A Year in Review


It feels like it was just yesterday that I sat down to write the 2018 year in review message, yet here I am at the keyboard again. When I look at the achievements and initiatives our customers and team members have worked on this year, I can see how the time has flown by.

Key among the changes in 2019 was our official rebranding to ISA Cybersecurity. We’ve been leaders in the cybersecurity field for many years, but our name still reflected our roots as a hardware and software solution provider. Putting cybersecurity right in our name more accurately reflects what we live and breathe, all day every day. If you haven’t updated your contact information with our new name, why not take a moment later to revise your address book and bookmarks. Our new website has loads of new information and resources to explore too – check them out!

One of the most exciting announcements of the year was the official launch of our ISA Infinity Partner program. This new program makes it even easier to get the cybersecurity resources and experience that every business needs these days. The program kicked into high gear quickly with the announcement of an infinity partnership agreement with Ingram Micro, who we also awarded “ISA’s Strategic Partner of the Year” during our recent holiday party. We now offer many of our state-of-the-art security-as-a-service offerings directly through Ingram Micro’s extensive reseller network.

Our leadership in the cybersecurity field in 2019 has not gone unnoticed in the industry. We were proud to be recommended by IDC as a “Major Player in Canadian Security Services” in their annual MarketScape report. I’m delighted that our unique combination of local, customer-focused agility combined with global reach and resources is being recognized.

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. In addition to investments in improving our SOC (new hosted services, new controls, new technologies around ML and Automation and Orchestration) and expanding our top-notch team of security professionals with 15 new team members, we’re also doing our part to nurture the tech talent of tomorrow. We have made significant donations to the University of Guelph to help launch their new, innovative Master of Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence (MCTI) program. I feel it’s essential to invest in the future, and Guelph is well-positioned to participate in this program with us.

I’m proud of ISA’s efforts in promoting gender diversity in the cybersecurity field. Currently dominated by males, the Guelph program is an ideal fit with our values because of the significant proportion of female students at the university. In 2018, some 58% of undergraduates at University of Guelph were female, and we’re hoping that we can attract many of them to participate in the MCTI program. There is a critical shortage of cybersecurity professionals in North America, so we need to tap every resource available to help the fight against cybercrime.

We’ve doubled down on our commitment to inclusion in the Guelph program by offering two entrance scholarships – one for a female, another for a male – to attract a wide range of talent to the program. As it’s now university application season, I hope you’ll consider the MCTI among your choices for post-graduate studies.

Giving back is a theme for some of our traditional corporate activities that we enjoyed in 2018 as well. Our popular invitational golf event was another big hit this year with over 130 in attendance, and – more importantly – a record donation of over $15,000 (more than double our 2018 contribution) to the Canadian Cancer Society. We also showed our appreciation for our key clients and partners by sponsoring our semi-annual invitational hockey games. Our “Blue & White” events were spirited affairs – with the score forgotten by the time the chicken wings came out. We were excited to welcome our first female participant in the November skate – just as we attract more women to cybersecurity, we hope to see even more female players next year.

In the second half of the year, I often reflected on the outstanding “Daring to Lead” program attended by me and members of my executive group in June and December of this year. I’ve always been proud of the diversity in our team, and feel that the solutions and insights we provide to you are enhanced by the different perspectives and ideas from the dedicated women and men at ISA. The program inspired all of us to become braver leaders and reminded us that we can always do better. And we will!

I feel we’re demonstrating some of that leadership in providing cybersecurity resources and information. Our sponsorship of industry events (e.g, the Western Canada Information Security

Conference), extensive partnerships with leading cybersecurity vendors, publication of web resources, and our vibrant social media presence all serve to champion awareness about cybersecurity for all, whether you’re a current or a future ISA customer. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn to keep abreast of cybersecurity news and events.

On that note, I wish to thank all of our staff, clients, and partners for their support this year. It goes without saying that none of what we do is possible without your contributions. I wish all readers a safe and joyous holiday season, and I look forward to another successful and secure year in 2022019


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