Updated: Tue, 02 Apr 2013 14:27:52 GMT | By Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press, thecanadianpress.com

CGI sets up cyber security centre in Canada



MONTREAL - CGI Group hopes its new security centre in Ottawa will boost its Canadian business by better appealing to companies facing growing cyber security threats.

The Montreal-based information technology services company said the centre, which opened at CGI's relocated offices on the outskirts of the capital, is equipped to provide around-the-clock expertise to clients.

CGI (TSX:GIB.A) spokesman Lorne Gorber said the change is part of the company's efforts to target new business from the financial services and other sectors over the coming years to grow revenues in Canada.

"If all went well, it would certainly push the Canadian business and no doubt the Ottawa business unit well into double-digit growth territory," he said in an interview.

CGI's global cyber security operations increased with last year's acquisition of European-based Logica.

Gorber said CGI earns about $25 million in revenues annually in Canada and about $500 million globally from its roughly 1,200 employees focused on cyber security.

CGI said the Ottawa security centre operations — one of three such accredited evaluation test centres in Canada — protects Canada's largest corporations and deals with about 45 million potential cyber events each week for some 100 commercial and government clients.

Last year, the cost of cyber attacks in Canada grew to $1.4 billion, undermining corporate profits and reputations, the company estimated.

Gorber said the centre expects to continue adding employees as it seeks new clients and works to convince existing customers to use more of its security services, which range from product testing to making their own systems more secure and combating corporate espionage.

"This is really creating a unified global offering that now allows us to go back and knock on the doors of all of our clients," he said, adding that CGI will go after cross-border opportunities and test products at its Ottawa testing lab.

Among its customers is the Canadian Payments Association, which ensures that more than $170 billion of transactions are cleared securely through its systems daily.

Meanwhile, CGI said Tuesday that the World Anti-Doping Agency has signed on with its Logica subsidiary in Europe to provide a new smartphone app that will allow athletes around the globe to easily notify the agency of their whereabouts to facilitate out-of-competition testing.

The software will be available for iPhone and Android smartphones in the third quarter.

The app was originally launched last year by the Dutch Doping Authority for its own athletes.

On the Toronto Stock Exchange, CGI's shares closed down 22 cents to $26.65 in Tuesday trading.

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