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Maryland Positions To Be Cybersecurity 'Epicenter'

In a report, the state proposes creating a National Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity and aligning its cybersecurity initiatives with those of the Obama Administration.

Maryland wants to become the Silicon Valley of cybersecurity. In a new report, the state says it has the assets, including a "cluster" of required IT capabilities, to support the federal government's growing cybersecurity requirements.

The report, titled "CyberMaryland," cites Maryland's higher education, R&D, technology workforce, and base of businesses and government agencies as reasons it's well suited to play a central role in cybersecurity.

"Maryland is poised to lead the nation's war on cyber crime," said Governor Martin O'Malley in a statement. O'Malley serves co-lead on homeland security for the National Governors' Association Public Safety Task Force and on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council.

Included in the report is a proposal to establish, via federal funding and a public-private partnership, a National Center of Excellence for Cybersecurity in the Maryland. Potential components would include a new technology incubator, testing labs, education, and training. The report also recommends aligning Maryland's cybersecurity initiatives with those of the Obama Administration and developing the state's "brand" as a cybersecurity epicenter.

Maryland is home to more than 50 federal facilities and a dozen military installations. Several government agencies involved in cybersecurity are headquartered in Maryland or have facilities there, including the National Security Agency, Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, and National Institute of Standards and Technology. The DOD's Defense Information Systems Agency plans to relocate to Fort Meade in Maryland next year.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued an order last June to establish the U.S. Cyber Command, with a purpose of centralizing the U.S. military's cybersecurity operations. At the time, Gates indicated that Maryland was a preferred location.

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