byAdam_Palmer08-03-201101:52 AM - edited 08-03-201101:52 AM
Discussion of cybersecurity is often focused at the national or global level. However, there are some important initiatives occurring right here in the U.S. at the state and local level. This past week, I had the unique opportunity to learn more about a program in Texas to improve cybersecurity at the local city level.
The San Antonio Cybersecurity Initiative titled, "Cyber City USA", is a program designed to create a nationally recognized cyber “Center of Excellence” in Texas. This program is intended to create an expanded talent pool of cybersecurity experts, enhance cybersecurity education efforts and promote local economic development through increased professional opportunities in the cybersecurity field. The San Antonio Cybersecurity Initiative is focused on addressing local cybersecurity issues, while maintaining awareness of the global cyber eco-system.
To implement its goals at the local level, the San Antonio Cybersecurity Initiative has developed a plan focused on three key groups, including local students, business, and government. This approach emphasizes building community awareness and local academic resources. Specific efforts include supporting the expansion of cyber innovation and research at local schools, hosting an annual “IT/Cybersecurity Job Fair” as a part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and connecting K-12 students to classes/programs that funnel into cybersecurity career pathways.
In addition to its education programs, the San Antonio Cybersecurity Initiative also engages both the government and local business communities. The initiative builds on the strength of the significant military community in San Antonio by making cybersecurity cooperation and operational excellence a critical platform for city planning. These efforts are coordinated with the local business community to establish an environment conducive to the growth of cybersecurity businesses and the development of advanced cybersecurity capabilities.
Efforts like the San Antonio program for improving cybersecurity at the local level are also occurring in Michigan, California and Colorado. These types of programs, when integrated into larger cooperative efforts, can be the first steps towards improving cybersecurity at the local level.