San Diego Industry Study Leads to Cybersecurity Center of Excellence
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laying plans for a couple of initiatives, Basu said.
Under the most intriguing proposal, the new Cyber Center of Excellence would collect data about cyberattacks and security breaches from companies in the region and use data analytics to extract interesting trends, such as the source of cyberattacks and methods used. The center would disclose its findings and insights in a regular cybersecurity report.
Under another proposal, the center would provide a “cybersecurity seal of approval” to assure tourists visiting San Diego that their hotel Wi-Fi network meets certain network security standards. The local hotel industry has been asking for something like this to allay concerns among tourists as well as business travelers in San Diego, according to Mark Cafferty of the EDC.
For all the effort to highlight San Diego’s cybersecurity cluster, however, the city failed to crack the list of Top 10 U.S. cities for cybersecurity job postings in the Burning Glass survey. In response to an Xconomy query, Will Markow of Burning Glass extended their data run a little further and found that San Diego ranks 12th on the top 10 list of cybersecurity job postings, with 3,665 postings in 2013.
San Diego is showing strong job growth, though. With a 112 percent growth rate from 2007-2013, San Diego is ranked ninth in a listing of fastest growing metro areas for cybersecurity job postings.
Almost any major U.S. city could make similar claims about their cybersecurity cluster, said Alan Paller, director of research at the Baltimore, MD-based SANS Institute, which provides security training continuing education courses systems administrators and other IT professionals. “On the other hand it’s impressive that [San Diego] is making the effort and I like the projects,” Paller writes in an e-mail.
In any case, the EDC study clearly mirrors the nationwide explosion in demand for cybersecurity products and services. At a time when employment growth in the San Diego region is estimated at about 2.2 percent for the next year, the study projects job growth among cybersecurity firms at 13 percent. Jobs for cybersecurity professionals, in particular, are expected to grow by 25.7 percent.
Some other highlights from the EDC study:
—More than 3,500 private sector employees work in cybersecurity-related jobs in the San Diego region, with a direct economic impact of more than $502 million annually.
—Private businesses across all industry sectors employ cybersecurity personnel, and companies like Sempra Energy and Qualcomm have made significant investments to defend their networks. More than half of the “cyberemployers” in San Diego indicated “they had either some difficulty or great difficulty finding qualified applicants who meet the organization’s hiring standards for cybersecurity positions.”
—SPAWAR, which oversees IT technologies for Navy enterprise information systems, space systems, and a long list of command, communications, intelligence, and reconnaissance systems, employs about 3,095 cyberprofessionals, with a direct economic benefit of nearly $438 million a year.
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