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Cybersecurity in a Hyperconnected World: Protecting your Digital Fortress

Cybersecurity has never been more critical in our ever-increasingly interconnected world, where information flows freely through the internet, and businesses rely heavily on technology. Research data suggests that about 50% of the five billion people with access to the internet have already been compromised. Four thousand times a day, cybercriminals try to gain unauthorized access to your computer and other internet-enabled devices to steal data or cause damage.

The digital landscape, as are the tactics these cyber criminals use, is constantly changing. They target everything from personal data to sensitive corporate information, with the potential for devastating consequences. Ransomware attacks (which now cost businesses in the US $20 billion per year), data breaches, and phishing scams are just a few examples of the threats organizations face daily.

Claudette McGowan, the CEO of Protexxa (a leading Black-owned cybersecurity firm with a proven track record of excellence in safeguarding businesses against a wide range of cyber threats), shares three tips for protecting your organization from cyber-attacks.

Tip #1: Educate and Prepare Your Team

Knowledge is power when it comes to cybersecurity. To fortify your defences, consider scheduling sessions within your organization to educate team members about ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.

Creating and periodically refreshing a playbook outlining the steps to take during a ransomware attack is crucial. Questions like who will make critical decisions, which stakeholders need to be informed, and how to handle negotiations with cybercriminals need clear answers. Preparedness is key to minimizing the impact of a cyber incident.

Tip #2: Ensure Comprehensive Visibility of Tech Assets and Key Suppliers

Understanding your technology inventory and key partners is paramount. This includes everything from hardware and software to connections, APIs, and third-party suppliers. If you lack a robust tracking system, you might have significant gaps that could prove costly in the long run.

Complete visibility into your technology ecosystem forms the foundation of solid cybersecurity hygiene and controls. When a cyberattack occurs, swift decisions are essential. Don’t let poor administration slow you down when time is of the essence.

Tip #3: Learn from Others

Many organizations fall victim to cyberattacks due to delayed software patching, weak password controls, or underestimating their attractiveness to hackers. Even well-resourced companies can neglect these basics.

When a breach is reported, take the opportunity to understand how the organization was hacked. Ask yourself whether similar vulnerabilities exist within your company. Learning from the experiences of others is a powerful way to bolster your defences.

The Path Forward

Cybersecurity is not a one-time effort but an ongoing commitment. As the digital landscape evolves, so do the threats. By taking proactive steps to protect your organization’s digital fortress, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to cyberattacks and ensure the safety of your data, reputation, and bottom line.


Contacting Protexxa at 1-877-992-9237 or via email at is an excellent place to start for a thorough cybersecurity assessment to ensure your organization is protected from cybersecurity threats. Protexxa also assists with cyber support, training or consulting.

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Rob G.C. Sobey

Board Member

Rob G.C. Sobey is a corporate director. Mr. Sobey was the President & Chief Executive Officer of Lawton’s Drug Stores Limited from 2006 until his retirement in 2014 after 25 years with Sobeys. He serves as a director of SeaFort Capital and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Sobey is Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, a member of the Queen’s Smith School of Business Advisory Board and serves on several foundation and not-for-profit boards. For his work as an Honorary Colonel of the Canadian Army, Mr. Sobey received a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He holds an undergraduate from Queen’s University, a Master of Business Administration from Babson College, and the ICD.D designation.

Denburk Reid

Board Member

Denburk Reid is the founder of Montreal Community Care Foundation (MCCF). Its mission is to empower youth by developing their leadership skills by using programs, workshops, and events, and by building bridges between communities. As the founder of MCCF, he beliefs that the youth hold the key to Montreal’s future and over the past eight (8) years, its programs have helped hundreds of Montreal youth stay on track, perform community services as well as set and achieve academic and life goals. The organization seeks to empower youth to become engaged citizens and leaders in their homes, schools, and communities. For the past five (5) years, MCCF celebrates and promotes community engagement across Montreal through the Montreal Community Cares Awards.

Along with his role as the founder of MCCF, Mr. Reid is the Founder of Red Rush Basketball & Red Rush Basketball Leadership. He has a passion for empowering youth and meeting them where they are lends to a successful outcome.

Abdikhier Ahmed​

Board Member

Mr. Ahmed is a recognized community leader in the non-profit sector with specializations in immigration and refugee resettlement, poverty reduction, and community empowerment. A dynamic, highly motivated individual with extensive experience in program development and delivery, providing strategic visioning and leadership. Over 10 years’ experience managing programs for non-profit organizations and working with communities and people from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds both locally as well as internationally. Fluently multi-lingual: speaks and writes English, Swahili, Somali and basic Arabic. This experience help guide Mr. Ahmed when he was in the role of Director of Policy at the Office of Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

Mr. Ahmed is currently the Executive Director of Aurora Family Therapy Centre. Aurora is a progressive, non-profit family therapy centre that offers family therapy on a sliding scale; sees clients through services funded by Manitoba Department of Families and Department of Justice; provides community building groups for Newcomers to Canada; hosts a Psycho-Social Settlement Needs Assessment program for incoming refugees; provides summer youth programming for many newcomer communities; supports its own staff and other agencies through vicarious trauma and resilience programming; develops supportive relationships with community partners, and engages in advocacy for accessible community-based therapy services for all. Aurora is in the process of becoming a Centre of Excellence in providing cross cultural therapy from a systemic lens with a special focus on psychological trauma & recovery and community development.