Protecting Canada's Energy Supply Chains From Cyber Threats 

News release

August 6, 2021                                           Ottawa, Ontario                                     Natural Resources Canada

Cyber security is integral to safeguarding Canada’s citizens, information, economy and critical infrastructure. The need has never been greater as threats evolve and threaten to disrupt our daily lives.

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $407,000 in funding for the University of Waterloo to develop an enhanced cyber security system to protect Canada’s critical energy infrastructure.

The innovative hardware assurance system will be developed by the University of Waterloo and can detect compromised parts and devices, ensuring the safety and reliability of Canada’s energy delivery by mitigating risks in its supply chain.

This is especially important as the growing complexity of supply chains makes it more difficult for organizations to identify and mitigate potential risks as they can lose sight of the supply chain security practices of their vendors and suppliers.

Bruce Power will provide equipment, evaluate machine learning processes and evaluate the overall performance of the new system, while Palitronica Inc., a Canadian cyber security hardware and software company and part of University of Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem, will provide hardware sensors to enable the technology development.

The University of Waterloo and Bruce Power also contributed to the project, bringing the total investment to over $830,000.  

Federal funding for this project is provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Cyber Security and Critical Energy Infrastructure Program, which received $2.42 million in Budget 2018 to enhance the cyber security and resilience of domestic and cross-border energy infrastructure under Canada’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

The Government of Canada continues to assess emerging cyber security threats to keep Canada’s critical energy infrastructure safe. NRCan is making cyber security a priority and playing an active role in shaping Canada’s cyber security. 


“Our lives have become increasingly digital which means the security threats we face are also becoming digital. We’re investing in cutting-edge technologies with universities and industry leaders to protect Canada’s energy sector from cyber threats and keep our critical infrastructure secure.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.
Minister of Natural Resources

"Cyber security is a core area in the university’s research profile. We are delighted to employ our research excellence to advance the state of the art in a sector as important to the Canadian public as the energy sector. Our daily lives depend on the proper functioning of the power grid, and increasing its cyber posture is an important and worthwhile challenge.”

Mary Wells
Dean, University of Waterloo

“Bruce Power strongly supports this project to develop new hardware assurance technology to non-intrusively and non-destructively detect counterfeit parts or devices. The project complements our current efforts to ensure security and integrity of the supply chain for digital components.”

Jim Coady
Department Manager, Engineering, Bruce Power

“With the global rise in cyber attacks, protecting Canada’s energy infrastructure has never been as important as it is today. We are excited to work with Natural Resources Canada, the University of Waterloo and Bruce Power to demonstrate how our groundbreaking technology enables unprecedented hardware assurance and improves the cyber-resilience of Canada’s energy sector.”

Griffin Barnicutt
Co-founder, Palitronica Inc.

Associated links


Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada


Ian Cameron
Acting Director of Communications 
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

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