Maryland Business Secretary Johansson Testifies Before US Senate Small Business Committee on Strategies Supporting Cybersecurity Business Development

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Maryland’s Secretary of Business and Economic Development Testifies before U.S Senate on Role of Small Business in Defending our Nation from Cyber Attacks.

Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary Christian S. Johansson (far left), Jennifer Walsmith, Senior Acquisition Executive for NSA and Dr. Patrick Gallagher, Director of NIST, testify before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the role small businesses play in defending our nation from cyber attacks.

Working with the business community, colleges, research labs and federal facilities, my agency will continue to lead efforts to position Maryland as the epicenter for information technology and innovation.

Christian S. Johansson, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development, yesterday testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship at a field hearing on The Role of Small Businesses in Strengthening Cybersecurity Efforts in the United States. Chaired by Senator Ben Cardin at the Laurel Municipal Center, the hearing provided the six witnesses with an opportunity to demonstrate how Maryland’s cybersecurity community is working to discover new technologies to detect cyber-attacks and defend against cyber threats.

“I am honored that Senator Cardin invited me to brief the committee on our initiatives to harness and leverage Maryland’s unparalleled place-based cybersecurity assets to fuel innovation and create jobs in this rapidly growing industry,” said Secretary Johansson. “Since releasing CyberMaryland in January 2010, Governor O’Malley has made cyber-security an economic development priority. Working with the business community, colleges, research labs and federal facilities, my agency will continue to lead efforts to position Maryland as the epicenter for information technology and innovation.”

During his testimony, Secretary Johansson outlined the state’s progress toward implementing the CyberMaryland report recommendations and updated the committee on the role of Maryland’s small businesses in helping federal and state government strengthen cybersecurity efforts and progress. Among the programs and initiatives he cited was InvestMaryland, passed by the Maryland General Assembly during the 2011 legislative session and designed to raise $70M in capital for investment in start-up and emerging cybersecurity companies.

Chaired by Senator Mary L. Landrieu, the Committee also heard from Dr. Patrick D. Gallagher, Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Jennifer Walsmith, Senior Acquisition Executive of the National Security Agency (NSA); Dr. Charles Iheagwara, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer, Unatek, Inc., Maryland’s Homeland Security Company of the Year; Sarah Djamshidi, Executive Director, Chesapeake Innovation Center, the country’s first incubator focused on homeland and national security; and Dr. Gregory von Lehmen, Provost, University of Maryland University College, which offers online degree and certificate programs in cybersecurity. Maryland State Delegate Susan Lee, who sponsored legislation creating Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence Commission, attended the hearing.

CyberMaryland: Epicenter for Information Security and Technology identified four priorities areas for Maryland’s cybersecurity efforts:

  •     Support the creation and growth of innovative cybersecurity technologies in Maryland.
  •     Develop an educational pipeline to train new cybersecurity talent and advance workforce development.
  •     Advance cybersecurity policies to position Maryland for enhanced national leadership.
  •     Ensure the sustained growth and future competitiveness of Maryland’s cybersecurity industry.

ABOUT DBED:
The Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s mission is to attract new businesses, stimulate private investment and create jobs, encourage the expansion and retention of existing companies and provide businesses in Maryland with workforce training and financial assistance. The department promotes the State’s many economic advantages and markets local products and services at home and abroad to spur economic development, international trade and tourism. As a major economic generator, the department also supports the arts, film production, sports and other special events. For more information, visit http://www.choosemaryland.org.

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Karen Glenn Hood
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