More than 120 cybersecurity companies call the Peach State home and generate over $4.7 billion in revenue each year. This robust network of cybersecurity firms represents almost a quarter of the global security market. Across the state, these companies employ more than 10,000 network and computer system engineers, with some of the largest employers being Bastille Networks, Cisco, IBM Security Services, SecureWorks, Pindrop, and Oversight Systems, among others.
As the No. 3 state in the nation for information and data security, Georgia is one of the country’s leading cybersecurity hubs. With a diverse range of assets, including the Georgia Cyber Center and the Army Cyber Command in Georgia, Georgia is home to a highly skilled cybersecurity workforce. The state is also a leader in developing talent and research, with nationally ranked cyber institutions boasting a CAE-R or CAE-DC designation.
The $100 million Georgia Cyber Center is the largest single investment in a state-owned cybersecurity facility to date. Totaling 332,000 sq. ft., the center is designed to meet the growing need for cybersecurity talent in the state and around the globe. Strategically located in Augusta, the facility is a first-of-its-kind public and private partnership involving academic, state and federal governments, law enforcement, the U.S. Army, and the private sector and continues to attract investment and talent from across the United States.
In 2020, The Army Cyber Command officially opened its new $366 million Augusta headquarters. Located at Fort Gordon, the Cyber Command headquarters brings more than 4,700 high-tech military personnel to the base.
Georgia offers CMMC Guidance
In 2019 across the U.S., cybercrime costs businesses and people $3.5 billion, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Report. The report notes 43% of cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, and less than 14% of companies are prepared to defend against it.
In January 2020, the Department of Defense (DoD) established a new cybersecurity standard that will hold suppliers accountable for their cybersecurity practices before they can bid on government contracts. The new Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) will require all DoD contracts to demonstrate their cybersecurity practices to a third-party assessor.
In Georgia, DoD contracts are a $7.2 billion industry. Over the last five years, approximately 4,000 companies across the state have received DoD contracts. To help these companies remain competitive, the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) and the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) have partnered to provide resources to defense contractors as they navigate the new guidance.
The newly formed Georgia Defense Industrial Base Task Force aims to support businesses moving toward the basic cyber hygiene requirements outlined in the CMMC and develops resources and monthly educational webinars to support progress toward the basic cyber hygiene outlined in the CMMC compliance.
In October, TAG relaunched its Information Security (InfoSec) Society to assist business and technology professionals interested or actively working in the field of information security, privacy, risk, or compliance.
“The TAG InfoSec Society seeks to serve the Atlanta technology community by providing a platform for outreach and networking to early and mid-career information security practitioners,” said Paul Farley, deputy CISO of NCR and board chair of TAG’s InfoSec Society. “We also hope to serve as a welcoming place to encourage those seeking entry into the field.”
“Small businesses make up 99.8% of all businesses in Georgia, and defense contractors play a significant role in our state’s economy. GDEcD has created the Georgia Defense Exchange to assist businesses to connect with federal contracting opportunities, and the CybersecurityEdge website to help companies boost their cybersecurity,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson.