“New KPMG and Microsoft Project in Quebec to Provide Digital Skills Training and Certification to Combat Cyber Threats and Maximize Business Performance Using AI”
Today, KPMG in Canada and Microsoft Canada announced the launch of the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre, a new initiative aimed at offering free hands-on training to organizations to safeguard against cybersecurity threats and harness the potential of generative AI.
Investing $1.7M over three years, the Centre will be based in Quebec, where KPMG in Canada’s Canadian Centre of Excellence in Cybersecurity is also located. The training will initially be delivered in French and has the potential to benefit over 11,000 executives. The courses will cover cybersecurity for small and medium-sized business leaders, as well as generative AI for C-Suite and board members.
A Growing Need for Cybersecurity Skills
According to KPMG International’s latest CEO Outlook, 93% of Canadian CEOs are concerned about the emergence of generative AI making them more vulnerable to cybersecurity breaches. However, Microsoft’s recent study with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the demand for cybersecurity skills has increased 32% in Canada over the past year. This indicates a pressing need for investment in cybersecurity training to equip organizations with necessary skills in adaptive defense systems.
The Impact of Cyber Threats
With the increasing threat of cyberattacks, ransomware attempts have surged over 200% since September 2022, prompting organizations of all sizes to take protective measures. KPMG’s recent poll of Québec small and medium-sized businesses revealed that 60% of companies paid a ransom to cybercriminals in the last three years. The collaboration between KPMG and Microsoft aims to address these challenges by promoting cybersecurity culture and building essential security skills.
The Role of the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre
“The creation of the Operational Risk Skills Development Centre by KPMG in Canada and Microsoft Canada marks a significant step in the global alliance between KPMG International and Microsoft,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, National Transformation Partnerships, Microsoft. “Our joint investment will help to accelerate innovation, keep businesses secure and enable sustainable growth for the Quebec economy.”
The initiative ultimately seeks to empower organizations in Quebec to leverage cybersecurity best practices and develop an understanding of generative AI to strengthen their resilience against cyber threats. Through this collaboration, KPMG and Microsoft hope to transform generative AI into a tool that can facilitate positive change, rather than being perceived as a threat.
In conclusion, the partnership between KPMG and Microsoft represents an important step towards addressing the pressing need for cybersecurity training and fostering responsible use of generative AI. By equipping organizations with essential skills, this initiative can contribute to a more secure and resilient future for businesses in Quebec and beyond.