January 11, 2010

DELEGATION HAILS MARYLAND AS LEADER IN GLOBAL WAR ON CYBER CRIME

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski, and Congressmen Chris Van Hollen and Dutch Ruppersberger (all D-Md.) today lauded renewed efforts to make Maryland the nation's epicenter for cybersecurity. The Delegation joined Governor Martin O'Malley, along with federal and military officials and business leaders at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, for the unveiling of CyberMaryland, a 10-point strategy that reinforces Maryland's key role in President Barack Obama's national cyber initiative. CyberMaryland is the first comprehensive inventory of any State's cybersecurity assets.

 

"As a nation, we need to pay much more attention to cybersecurity. Maryland is taking all the right steps to maintain our leadership as a generator of best practices on cybersecurity and infrastructure preparedness while maintaining the critical balance between safety, security and individual privacy," said Senator Cardin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Terrorism and Homeland Security Subcommittee. "The CyberMaryland initiative will boost our local economy and create local jobs by leveraging Maryland's abundance of federal resources to attract additional facility expansion and private-sector contractors interested in cybersecurity."

 

 "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 cybersecurity. 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."

 

"Cybersecurity is a critical issue in a world with increasing reliance on information systems," said Congressman Van Hollen. "Maryland, with its unparalleled talent, experienced federal agencies, vibrant private sector, and world-class universities, is poised to be a leader in this vital national security effort.  I applaud the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development for establishing a framework to foster collaboration in Maryland and develop new ways to ensure the safety of our nation's information and infrastructure."

 

"Our computer systems are getting attacked every single day, and have been for years, whether the public knows it or not. These attacks could have very serious consequences. We are working hard to make sure we have the resources we need to tackle this head-on while building Maryland's reputation as the cyber capital of the world," said Rep. Ruppersberger.

 

Maryland is well positioned to lead the nation's cybersecurity efforts. 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 cybersecurity. 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 cybersecurity initiatives.