Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley has embarked upon an aggressive effort to brand Maryland as a hub of cyber intelligence, which would ultimately help the State attract national and global information technology companies.
The Governor is supporting continued efforts to focus Maryland’s academics in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to meet the ever increasing workforce needs of the cyber and IT industry. He wants to align the State’s cyber security practices with those of the federal government to ensure a cohesive and consistent vision.
In realizing some of those goals, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released a joint statement on 1/29, applauding the establishment of the Navy’s 10th Fleet Navy Cyber Command at Fort Meade:
“Today’s announcement that reestablished the Navy’s 10th Fleet and the Fleet Cyber Command at Ft. Meade is a testament to the role Maryland plays in the protection of our nation. Maryland sits at the epicenter of America’s cyber security and can claim the nation’s most technically-trained workforce.
“Cyber security, computer systems design, and all the high tech, high potential sectors of our economy are all connected to our goals for creating, saving, and placing our fellow citizens in quality jobs. Maryland was chosen by the Navy for this mission because of our focus on 21st Century technologies and the presence of our best-in-the-nation workforce.
Earlier in January, O’Malley convened a Cyber Security Summit at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. At the summit, O’Malley released a report on cyber security and announced a four point strategy to fully release the economic potential of cyber security. His four areas of focus are:
• Advancing cyber innovation by creating a National Center of Excellence for Cyber Security;
• Strengthening Maryland’s workforce to teach the skills needed to succeed in the emerging cyber economy;
• Advancing policies that will position Maryland as a national leader on cyber issues; and
• Establishing Maryland as the recognized national epicenter for cyber security.
Vice Admiral Bernard J. McCullough III will be taking charge of this command, which is the Navy’s arm of U.S. Cyber Command, created by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates on June 23, 2009. The unified command, a part of U.S. Strategic Command, coordinates computer-network defense and directs military cyber-attack operation. It was established largely in response to repeated attacks on defense networks, including a breach of the F-35 fighter jet program.
“Cyberspace is a unique domain with a totally different set of challenges,” McCullough said. “To operate successfully in this newly defined domain the Navy must first think differently about cyberspace operations. This world travels at the speed of light and requires real time command and control. We must ensure seamless alignment and integration with Fleet operations, and we must always remember that our real power at 10th Fleet lies not in systems, but in our people.”
Vice Admiral McCullough’s new command will be able to take advantage of the existing Naval Network Warfare Command infrastructure, communications support and personnel already in place at Fort Meade.
Maryland: America’s new cyber security epicenter?
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(sources: Maryland.gov , Navy Times / cover image: flickr)