Technology

Oregon Tech Association Pushes for Center for Cyber Excellence

By / May 13, 2014 (photo by Radcliffe Dacanay/Flickr)

The association is asking the Oregon legislature for funding to create a new center that would help train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

There is a measurable need for additional cybersecurity experts and overall increase in cyber expertise across the full gamut of industries in Oregon.

With a barrage of recent cyberattacks and breaches, cybersecurity is of growing concern to pretty much any business or organization that relies on information technology—which is pretty much every business and organization.

A recent report from information security firm SafeNet, Inc., found that more than 200 million records were lost or stolen in the first quarter of 2014—that’s the equivalent of 93,000 records an hour for those three months.

One technology association is working to strengthen cyber capabilities in the state of Oregon by calling on the state’s legislature to fund a Center for Cyber-Excellence. The Technology Association of Oregon is asking legislators for $5.3 million to create the center, which would help develop innovations in cybersecurity as well as train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

“As every industry has become dependent on information technology through online presence, social media, data analytics, cloud computing, and electronic commerce, unfortunately they have also been more at risk from cyber assault,” TAO stated in a “Cyber Studies Strategy” [PDF] report supporting its request. “Cybersecurity has become a cost of doing business in the modern age.”

Addressing cybercrime issues requires a skilled workforce trained in the best cyber defenses, TAO added in the report. Training the next generation of cyber professionals could also create an opportunity to draw new business into the area.

To help prepare these professionals, the Center for Cyber-Excellence would develop coordinated curriculum guidelines for undergraduate and graduate programs in the state’s universities and community colleges. It would also support innovation and research in cybersecurity and engage younger students in pursing cybersecurity careers by hosting programs and events for middle school and high school students.

“There is a measurable need for additional cybersecurity experts and overall increase in cyber expertise across the full gamut of industries in Oregon,” TAO stated in its report. “Failure of the Oregon university system to address this challenge will result in companies recruiting from farther afield or moving operations to locations with better trained workforces.”

Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. More »

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