Securing Our eCity® Launches Cybersecurity Business Cluster Initiative in San Diego

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"Cyber Harbor" Initiative Will Etablish San Diego's Precedence As A Global Cyberdefensed Industry "Hot Spot"

Securing Our eCity® (SOeC), the ESET Foundation Signature Program, has announced plans to launch a cybersecurity cluster effort in San Diego, in partnership with the San Diego Advanced Defense Technology (SDADT) Cluster.

“San Diego is emerging as a `cyber harbor,’ and cybersecurity hot spot similar to the way Silicon Valley became the hub for early computer development in years past. With portions of that industry now commoditized, the leading edge of innovation has shifted to protecting software and data running on various platforms. Our region has become the international focal point for cross-industry cybersecurity expertise and development, with hundreds of providers already in place,” said Jessie J. Knight Jr., Chairman, ESET Foundation, Inc. and Chairman & CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric. “Our strength is in our unique ability for collaboration and commonality that spurs growth and prosperity. We believe that cybersecurity is the key element that draws all businesses together and is our shared responsibility.”

“By identifying local organizations involved in cyberdefense work, and bringing them together as a business cluster, we can attract new companies and talent to our area, and help bolster San Diego’s economy,” said Louis Kelly, Co-Chair of Securing Our eCity Cluster Workgroup and Director of the SDADT Cluster. He also serves as Chair of the San Diego San State University Center for Commercialization of Advanced Technology (CCAT).

One of the first initiatives to be undertaken by SOeC and SDADT will be to compile an extensive database of cybersecurity companies and related university programs in the San Diego region. This will serve as a master directory of organizations that are selling cybersecurity products, services, or performing research related to all areas of national concern for information security. A dynamic cross section of both vertical and horizontal industries – private and public – will include organizations like defense, healthcare, telecommunications, energy, banking and finance, transportation, and other commercial sectors.

“This effort falls right into line with CONNECT’s convergence cluster initiative to foster regional focus on the importance of cybersecurity,” said Duane Roth, CEO of CONNECT, a globally recognized organization that fosters entrepreneurship in the San Diego region by promoting the formation of new technology and life sciences companies. “The formation of a regional cybersecurity cluster is not only vital to our regions business economy, but also to our national security and the safety of our citizens.”

“San Diego has rapidly become one of the leading cybersecurity centers in the world,” said Mark Cafferty, President & CEO, of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. “We have witnessed a convergence of world-class capabilities from our existing military, biometrics, and software analytics communities that will allow San Diego to compete for jobs and investment in this new environment. The launch of the cybersecurity business cluster is a testament to our region’s unique local assets and competitive advantages in this area.”

There are numerous benefits available to organizations that identify themselves and take part in the SOeC/SDADT Cybersecurity Cluster initiative, according to San Diego Gas & Electric CEO and Chairman Jessie Knight, who chairs the ESET Foundation, sponsoring organization of SOeC. These benefits include:

  •     Being included in future joint marketing efforts undertaken by SOeC and its partners on behalf of San Diego cybersecurity cluster member organizations.
  •     Possible participation in future grant proposals that SOeC will pursue with the Department of Homeland Security. As the signature program of the recently incorporated ESET Foundation, SOeC now operates along with the Foundation as a nonprofit (501c3), facilitating its eligibility for DHS grants.
  •     Eligibility for inclusion as a client in the SDADT Cluster.

The focus of the SDADT is to assist small businesses in the transition of their technologies into defense applications. The SDADT Cluster provides a customized package of business support that includes: market research, business mentoring, proposal preparation, demonstrations to customers, and assistance in locating funding sources. This support will include outreach to local defense organizations such as SPAWAR and SSC Pacific for possible funding opportunities, demonstrations and introductions.

Companies or universities engaged in cybersecurity work are urged to register at the following link: http://www.ccatsandiego.org/ccat_intranet/cybersecurityDb/CyberSecuritySignUpForm.html
For additional information about Securing Our eCity®, its upcoming events and additional ways to get involved, please visit, http://www.securingourecity.org/. For the latest cyber threat and education information, follow Securing Our eCity on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook or follow SOeC’s blog at http://www.securingourecity.org/blog.

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About The ESET Foundation

Founded in late 2011, the ESET Foundation’s mission is to foster community collaboration to create educational awareness for cyber and societal challenges. Headquartered in San Diego, the ESET Foundation’s signature program is the award winning Securing Our eCity®, recognized in 2010 by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for the best local and community program. The ESET Foundation brings together like-minded organizations whose primary goal is to encourage cybersecurity for business, families, youth and seniors. For more information visit http://www.esetfoundation.org or, email Steve.Kovsky@esetfoundation.org

About Securing Our eCity

Securing Our eCity (SOeC) is signature program of the ESET Foundation, a nonprofit corporation. SOeC is focused on fostering public/private partnerships at local, state, national and international levels while helping counter cyber threats and creating more cyber secure communities across the globe. Stakeholders from coast to coast including consumer advocates, business owners, and governmental agencies (law enforcement and legislative bodies) have come together to raise awareness, education and help individuals and businesses prepare for cybersecurity challenges now and in the future. The founding stakeholders include ESET North America, San Diego Business Journal, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, UCSD and SDSU. To learn more, visit: http://www.securingourecity.org

About San Diego Advanced Defense Technology Cluster

The San Diego Advanced Defense Technology (SDADT) Cluster if one of the 10 Regional Innovation Clusters (RICs) funded by the Small Business Administration (SBA), and one of three RICs focused on defense requirements. The SDADT is partnered with the U.S. Navy’s SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific and brings together a membership which includes all of the area defense primes, the defense-oriented industrial associations, all of the area elements of the SBA, and several other organizations that support small businesses, such as the Foundation for Enterprise Development (FED), CONNECT, and the SDSU Entrepreneurial Management Center. The SDADT has two missions: to help grow jobs in the region, and to help accelerate the transition of innovations located in small businesses into Department of Defense programs. Cybersecurity is one of the principle areas of focus for SDADT.

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