In his State of the State address today, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal highlighted Georgia’s new focus on cybersecurity. Georgia will be getting a new cyber command headquarters alongside the National Security Agency (NSA) facilities at Fort Gordon in Augusta. The cyber command center will be managed by the US Army, which broke ground on the command center site two months ago. In addition to the military outpost, the state will also be building the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center.
According to Deal, the state-owned facility will work on improving cybersecurity technology for both public and private industries. The Governor called the training center – “another star in our expanding constellation of excellence.”
The training center will have a “cyber range” where training exercises and other research and development activities take place. The range is likely to be similar to cybersecurity training centers in Arizona, Michigan, Rhode Island and Virginia. Each of those states are working with local businesses and universities to create ecosystems of research and development around cybersecurity.
Universities and technical schools in Georgia will be following suit and working with the state on cybersecurity training, research, and curricula.
In his speech, Deal added that the state’s focus on STEM education in the K-12 grades will continue to build a pipeline of students who have a strong foundation of education going into cybersecurity and other technology training programs. Georgia’s Move On When Ready and apprenticeship programs had almost 15,000 high school students enrolled as of the fall. 157 private companies are participating in the apprenticeship programs.
“The reality is cybersecurity is important because cybercrime is now bigger than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine and heroin combined,” the Governor said.