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Governor Martin O'Malley Releases Plan to Make Maryland Nation's Epicenter for Cyber Security

Press Release

Location: Gaithersburg, MD

Governor unveils first comprehensive inventory of any State's cyber security assets

Addressing the growing global threat of cybercrime, Governor Martin O'Malley today joined Maryland's Congressional Delegation, federal and military officials and business leaders at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg to unveil an aggressive policy report that calls for establishing Maryland as the nation's epicenter for cyber security.

View webcast of the CyberMaryland Summit.

Developed with guidance from more than 50 public and private sector information technology and security experts, CyberMaryland highlights the State's key role in supporting President Barack Obama's national cyber initiative and is the first comprehensive inventory of any State's cyber security assets. Over the last year, Maryland has led the nation in the creation of computer systems design jobs, growing by 6.6 percent.

"Cyber security touches everything we do -- from grocery shopping to banking, to heating our homes and talking on cell phones. With 50,000 new computer viruses emerging every day and hackers becoming increasingly advanced, the need to protect our country, our companies and our families has never been more urgent," said Governor O'Malley, who serves as co-Lead on Homeland Security for the National Governors' Association Public Safety Task Force and sits on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council.

O'Malley continued, "Maryland is poised to lead the nation's war on cyber crime. From the innovative work being conducted at NIST, our universities and Maryland companies both large and small, to our highly-educated IT workforce, we have a duty to ensure the safety and security of every American citizen against this growing threat."

Cyber threats have surged in the last year, with significant jumps in the number of consumers reporting financial fraud, malware infection and password detection, according to the 2009 CSI Computer Crime and Security Survey, which surveyed more than 400 organizations in July 2009. On average, identity theft cost each organization surveyed more than $700,000, while losses from financial fraud cost $450,000.

"Our nation is at risk. Cyber raids and cyber attackers are at work every day and everywhere trying to steal our secrets and bring down our systems," said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. "The good news is Maryland has the knowledge, know-how, and can-do spirit to lead the way in cyber security. Our world-class facilities - NIST, NASA and soon-to-be DISA - combined with our vibrant and growing private sector and talented universities uniquely position Maryland to lead the way in cybersecurity."

Key among the report's recommendations is the creation of a National Center of Excellence for Cyber Security in Maryland, which calls for a partnership between federal and State government, the private sector and academic institutions and includes an incubator; cyber security testing laboratories; information sharing about vulnerabilities in hardware, software and IT systems; education and training; and Cyber security/IT Law Council to advise the Governor and State leadership.

Governor touring NIST"Maryland's Congressional Delegation has taken a leadership role in protecting the nation from the attacks that plague our computer networks," said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. "These efforts have been invaluable to ensuring that this threat to our nation's security and economic viability receives the attention it deserves and that we have the proper defenses in place to keep our networks safe."

The recommendations also include launching an aggressive effort to brand Maryland as a hub of cyber intelligence, which would help the State to attract both national and global information technology companies; continuing to focus Maryland's academic efforts on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to meet the ever increasing workforce needs of the cyber and IT industry; and aligning the State's cyber security best practices with those of the federal government to ensure a cohesive and consistent vision.

"Cyber security is a growing and robust global industry, as more financial service companies, universities and retailers address their security needs and government agencies work to safeguard our nation's most vital networks," said Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson. "With our unparalleled IT assets and a highly-skilled workforce of more than 126,000, Maryland is best prepared to lead the cyber security charge and tap into what is expected to be a more than $800 billion global IT industry in 2010."

"NIST has a longstanding comprehensive program in cyber security research and standards and we're proud to be hosting this event," said NIST Director Patrick Gallagher. "Our efforts are greatly strengthened through collaborations with the state and private sector, and I welcome Gov. O'Malley's strong leadership in this area."

"The economic well being and safety of our nation in the global environment requires comprehensive cyber security approaches that address policy, operations, technology, leadership, workforce and budget," said Rosemary Budd, Booz Allen Hamilton Principal and President of the Fort Meade Alliance. "Governor O'Malley's push to establish a National Center of Excellence for Cyber Security in Maryland, and the implementation of recommendations in the CyberMaryland report, call for collaboration between federal, state, research, academia, and private industry. Through our work together, we can provide critical advancements in cyber security solutions."

Maryland is home to more than 50 key federal facilities and 12 major military installations, including the National Security Agency, the Army's Communication and Electronics Command (CECOM), which will soon be locating at Aberdeen Proving Ground, and the Defense Information Systems Agency, which is slated to move to Maryland from Virginia in 2011, bringing 4,300 advanced technology jobs. Combined, these facilities and installations employ nearly 200,000 well-educated, highly-skilled government employees and contractors in cutting-edge research and development and scientific, medical and technological innovations, not counting the estimated 60,000 jobs coming to Maryland as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure process. Maryland is also home to many of the nation's top defense contractors and has a growing cluster of private sector companies specializing in cyber security. In total, Maryland has one of the highest concentrations of technology jobs in the nation, with 10 percent of jobs classified as technology-related and led the nation in 2009 with the largest growth in computer systems design jobs.

The State is also a leader in research and development, ranking first in federal R & D obligations per capita, and second in federal R & D investment at $12.2 billion. Maryland is home to several of the nation's top research universities, including Johns Hopkins and University of Maryland, College Park, the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, which combined conduct nearly $1 billion in funded research annually.

To support the cyber industry, Maryland also has the nation's top rated public school system and is developing an education pipeline to produce highly-skilled workers trained in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); has more than 20 colleges and universities that offer computer science degrees, including six State universities that are certified by the NSA as Centers of Academic Excellence; and is home to the nation's first business accelerator -- the Chesapeake Innovation Center -- for government innovation, homeland, national and cyber security initiatives.

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