Yesterday, at a cybersecurity event at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley announced his aim of making Maryland the epicenter of cybersecurity.
O’Malley and Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin and Reps. Chris Van Hollen and C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger are campaigning to have the headquarters of the new Cyber Command centered in Maryland.
The Maryland Democrats see the establishment of the Cyber Command as an opportunity to bring additional jobs in the state, as much as 28,000 according to some estimates. O’Malley believes since the National Security Agency is home to the leading cybersecurity professionals, it makes sense to locate CYBERCOM in Maryland as well.
O’Malley also highlighted some of the other efforts already in place in Maryland.
“Maryland is poised to lead the nation“™s war on cyber crime,” he said. “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.”
NSA is headquartered at Fort Meade, Md. The director of NSA, Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, has been put forward as the likely head of the CYBERCOM. If confirmed by the Senate, he is likely to place the new command at Fort Meade.
O’Malley outlined his plans for the state which include: creating a National Center of Excellence for Cyber Security in Maryland, improving higher and primary education for prepare future cyber professionals and attempting to bring in more government contractors through increased marketing (the report can be accessed here). To ensure implementation of the recommendations, O’Malley announced the creation of a 16-member Federal Facilities Advisory Board.
According to Barbara Mikulski, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, “We have, right here in Maryland, all of the elements to help maintain the cutting edge in cybersecurity.”