McDonnell announces cyber security marketing effort

Gov. Bob McDonnell today released a report on the cyber industry in the Commonwealth of Virginia that will be used in marketing Virginia as the best place in the country to start or relocate a business in the cyber security field.

The Commonwealth is already home to more than 300 cyber security focused companies, with many of the largest leaders in IT and cyber security being headquartered here. These companies offer a breadth of technologies and services including network infrastructure, authentication, biometrics, modeling and simulation, encryption products and network security customization, just to name a few. The Commonwealth is also home to numerous cyber related federal assets including the CIA, the Pentagon, DARPA and the U.S. Army Cyber Command.

“Virginia’s business-friendly climate, well-trained workforce, unique access to federal cyber security assets and an already thriving cyber security industry make it a natural fit for new or expanding cyber security companies,” McDonnell said. “This new marketing effort will take the Virginia story and help ensure that when a company is looking at cyber security, they start in the commonwealth.  Virginia already has the highest concentration of technology workers anywhere in the country and as Virginia’s schools and universities refocus on STEM subjects, we will ensure that our young people will be prepared for these high-skill jobs that are important for our economy and vital for our national security.”

Secretary of Technology, Jim Duffey, commented, “the Commonwealth’s blending of a business friendly atmosphere, a top notch education system, numerous defense R & D centers, and extensive infrastructure has laid the foundation for a vibrant cyber security industry, which spans the Commonwealth, from Northern Virginia to Norfolk to Mecklenburg.”

Gov. McDonnell’s proposed biennial budget included $2.3 million in funding to improve the Commonwealth’s marketing to the cyber security industry and for modeling and simulation to foster growth and diversification by leveraging resources from a variety of existing sources to support research and outreach activities.

Looking forward, the McDonnell Administration’s cyber initiatives include:

· Emphasizing STEM and cyber specific education at all academic level

· Supporting cyber research and development at Virginia’s Universities

· Company formation and investment via the Cit Gap Fund: seed-stage investment funds designed to attract private capital to enable the formation and establishment of new high-growth technology companies in Virginia

·  The creation of a National Center of Cyber Excellence: which will aid in the economic development of this industry, and also house the Cyber Security Awareness Engine, which will provide a timely, reliable and trusted means of matching cyber security related solutions, tools and skills with requirements/issues in both the public and private marketplaces.

Federal spending for cyber security is estimated to be $13.3 billion by 2015, and the 2012 Department of Defense budget for cyber alone is $3.2 billion. Cyber security spending as a whole topped $60 billion globally in 2011 and is expected to grow at a rate of almost 10% every year, over the next 3-5 years.

A copy of the report, Virginia’s Innovation Ecosystem: The Trusted Leader in Growing Cyber Security Solutions, can be found at: http://www.technology.virginia.gov/CyberReport.pdf.


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