The University of Maryland is launching a new cybersecurity initiative that aims to stimulate public-private partnerships and address national vulnerabilities, including those facing industry.
The focal point of the initiative, the new Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC-squared, or MC2), will implement a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity education, research and technology development. Experts from engineering, computer science, information sciences, business, public policy, social sciences and economics will develop new educational and research programs.
“Cybersecurity is one of the biggest threats facing our nation, but also one of the greatest opportunities for Maryland universities, businesses and federal labs to work collectively and strengthen our national defense and economic security,” said Gov. Martin O’Malley, whose CyberMaryland plan envisions the state as the epicenter of work in the field. “This bold initiative will complement the work of CyberMaryland, and I look to it as a national model for developing a response to the threat of cyber disruptions.”
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, chairwoman of the U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Justice and Science Subcommittee and a member of the Cyber Security Task Force, echoed the governor’s sentiments. She said the MC2 effort is important in the war against cyber terrorists and cyber criminals.
“Maryland is the global epicenter for cybersecurity, and the University of Maryland will play a key role in training the cyber warriors of tomorrow,” she said. “The center will bring new economy jobs to Maryland and help keep America safe.”
MC2 will draw on ongoing cybersecurity research at the university, including wireless and network security, cryptography, secure programming, attacker behavioral analysis, cybersecurity policy, multimedia forensics, and the economics of cybersecurity, among other areas.
The center will at first be led jointly by Chairman of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Patrick O’Shea and Chairman of the Department of Computer Science Larry Davis. The university is also beginning to line up private sector research partners to work with, including Lockheed Martin and SAIC.
“With this new center, we and the university will enjoy a new platform for cyber innovation,” said Larry Cox, SAIC senior vice president and business unit general manager. “By linking our efforts, we can strategically support key initiatives of importance ““ not only to our organizations, but to the nation. Areas such as cyber supply-chain research, accredited testing and evaluation, cloud-computing security, and cyber-defense education and training.”
MC2 will also work with small businesses, including the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute and the Office of Technology Commercialization, to help push new technologies into the marketplace and propel new economic growth to the region.