Protecting the Connected World with the Critical Infrastructure Security Operations Centre

Research Area: Cybersecurity  | Status:  Complete | Led By: Researcher-led

The Challenge

Traditionally in organizations, Information Technology (IT) and Operational Technology (OT) have been managed by different employees with little to no overlap, and many organizations face challenges in their attempts to merge these worlds. Increasingly, these groups now must work together to ensure the security of energy grids, water systems, transportation and other critical infrastructure.

Additionally, according to the 2020 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, there is a massive gap in cybersecurity skills in the Canadian workforce. Most organizations lack the skillset to defend critical assets effectively—and in today’s increasingly digital world, cybersecurity has never been more important.

The Solution

NBCC is helping bring together the worlds of IT and OT while helping students and New Brunswick organizations build their capacity in cybersecurity. A prime example of NBCC’s impact is its new Critical Infrastructure Security Operations Centre (CI-SOC) at the Saint John campus. This research and training lab allows NBCC students, regional K-12 students and industry partners to test and troubleshoot real-world scenarios in a fully simulated environment and see first-hand why IT and OT must work together.

About the Collaboration

The CI-SOC is the first training lab of its kind in New Brunswick – part of a growing cluster of cybersecurity expertise and capacity that has established our province as a regional and national leader. Students and industry partners can use the centre to run simulations of real-world problems and interact with the control systems running various facilities dealing with critical infrastructure, such as factories, utilities, and supply chain companies. By practicing cyberattack detection and remediation, learners will gain a greater appreciation and awareness of the critical infrastructure and the skills needed to protect it.

We’re excited to welcome industry partners to the CI-SOC to run through their security playbook, test new systems, practice breach simulations and verify their security tools. Since the lab has the security and industrial control systems that companies use, organizations can use this space to practice in a fully simulated environment to ensure they’re prepared to handle any cyber incidents.

Ben McHarg, Instructor in NBCC’s Information Technology: Cybersecurity program

Project Partners/Funders


Government of New Brunswick



About Applied Research and Innovation
NBCC’s Applied Research and Innovation office helps businesses and communities find solutions to their challenges. Through its expertise, equipment, and facilities, NBCC helps its partners to solve problems, take advantage of market opportunities, and develop new, innovative processes that will enhance how New Brunswickers live, work and do business.