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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Cybersecurity

August 27, 2018

Have you ever driven down the I-5 South near downtown and noticed the three large industrial buildings to your right? Do you know what happens there? That’s the U.S. Navy’s Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR).

Last week, a small group of EDC board members got a behind-the-scenes tour of SPAWAR and its research lab in Point Loma SSC-Pac to answer that very question. On the tour, attendees saw firsthand some of the technology being developed and acquired by SPAWAR – technology that ranges from AI-guided cyber tools, nanosatellites, cryogenic communications, AR and VR technologies for sailors, and autonomous air, land, and water vehicles. SPAWAR directly employs nearly half of all the cybersecurity jobs (3,400) in San Diego, and its presence in San Diego is a huge contributing factor for many cyber companies to remain located in the region. It is daily responsible for the creation of advanced technologies for our country.

Additionally, attendees were provided an opportunity to learn about the U.S. Navy’s plans to explore a massive redevelopment of the SPAWAR facility that could provide the command with modern infrastructure, while acting as a catalyst for broader redevelopment in the midway area. It is rare to have a command like SPAWAR outside of the Washington D.C. beltway area and even more uncommon still for a community to have an opportunity to help such an important institution design and build a new facility.

For more information, you may access the Request for Interest via Navy Electronic Commerce Online (NECO) or Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) websites.

October 28, 2016

In an age of rapidly evolving technology, it’s becoming increasingly pertinent for companies to defend themselves against cyber attacks. The cybersecurity sector seeks out the brightest minds to stay one step ahead of hackers who threaten security of  some of the biggest U.S. companies like Netflix, Twitter, Spotify and Amazon. Experts predicted one million cyber job openings worldwide in 2016. This burgeoning market for cyber professionals saw 74 percent growth in the last 5 years with expected growth of 13 percent in San Diego alone between 2016 and 2017. Big players in cybersecurity call San Diego home including SPAWAR, ViaSat, ESET, Northrop Grumman, Sentek Global and General Atomics, to name a few.

EDC's Link2 San Diego program seeks to retain the region's new grads by introducing them to industry leaders and lucrative job opportunities within some of the region's fastest growing sectors. By partnering with local universities, students have a chance to interact one-on-one with top executives they may not otherwise meet. Our fall 2016 Link2 series kicked off with Link2Tech at CSU San Marcos and Cuyamaca College this September. Now, in recognition of National Cyber Security Awareness month, we brought Link2Cyber to USD and SDSU.

Link2Cyber at USD was hosted in partnership with the university's new Center for Cyber Security Engineering and Technology (CCSET). The panel was moderated by Winnie Callahan, director of CCSET and featured representatives from the Cyber Center of Excellence, Sharp Healthcare, ESET, City of San Diego and SPAWAR. There were more than 60 college and high school students in attendance.

For Link2Cyber at SDSU, EDC partnered with the university's Department of Computer Science and its Computer Sciences Advisory Board in hosting 60 students and 20 industry representatives for a networking reception and panel discussion. During the panel, representatives from Sony, General Atomics, ViaSat, LP3 Security and Sentek Global spoke to current trends in cybersecurity and provided insight on how students can best prepare for jobs in cyber.

By showcasing the breadth and diversity of San Diego's top industries, EDC is working to retain and attract top tier talent in San Diego.

June 23, 2016

In 2012, then FBI Director Robert Mueller stood up at a cybersecurity conference and said, “There are two types of companies- those who have been hacked and those that will be.”

Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company, military contractor, genomics company or a neighborhood restaurant, cybersecurity has become ubiquitous for all businesses. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, an estimated $1 trillion will be spent on cybersecurity from 2017 to 2021. These global businesses may have San Diego – or rather one of its 100 plus cyber firms – to thank for that.

A new study released this week by San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence, with research by San Diego Regional EDC, provided additional insights on the impact of San Diego’s cyber economy.  In total, 104 core cyber firms employ 4,230 people in the region. SPAWAR, the Navy’s cybersecurity and R&D arm, employs an additional 3,390 in the cyber industry.

According to the study, San Diego’s cybersecurity industry generates more than $1.9 billion in GDP and impacts 16,580 jobs annually – equivalent to hosting four Super Bowls or 14 Comic-Cons each year – and has grown by more than 26 percent in just two years, since EDC’s last cyber study.

“San Diego is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the ever-growing global demand for cybersecurity products and security,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “This study shows how the convergence of the innovation economy, education and research, and department of defense presence creates a fertile ecosystem for companies and talent.”

San Diego, with its strong concentration of military personnel, has a growing a base of software jobs and university specializations, which benefits from a rich pool of cybersecurity talent. It’s one of the reasons companies such as ESET and iboss have set up shop here. More than 51,000 technology specialists call San Diego home and work in a variety of cybersecurity-related occupations. Employers surveyed expect their cybersecurity workforce to grow by 13 percent in the next year compared to projected 2 percent overall regional job growth.  

Read the full study here.

October 14, 2015

 

Working to help create more opportunities for all San Diego residents and establish San Diego as an international city of innovation, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer and the San Diego EDC opened doors at iboss Cybersecurity, one of the 500 fastest growing technology, media, telecommunications companies in North America.

Mayor Faulconer said, “Over the past several months, we have been cementing our reputation as a world-class leader in innovation. As mayor, I know that if San Diego is going to be a beacon of global innovation and opportunities, we need to support innovative companies like iboss to succeed. I want to make it easier for more world-class cyber security firms like iboss to call San Diego home.”

Paul Martini, CEO and Founder of iboss said, “We’re extremely excited to open our new global headquarters in San Diego which demonstrates how far we’ve come since we first launched here more than 10 years ago,” “San Diego is quickly becoming a hub for cybersecurity companies and that means the infrastructure and talent is in place to enable us to continue to grow here.”

Mark Cafferty, President and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC said, “While iboss has undoubtedly played a critical role in the world  of cybersecurity, it’s also been a great story for San Diego’s  innovation economy and global presence. iboss is showing that San Diego is a place where investors and companies can profoundly succeed in cybersecurity, technology and innovation.”

As a way of growing the region’s innovation economy, the City of San Diego’s development services division and economic development department worked in lock-step with iboss throughout its expansion, shepherding the company through the permitting process. The San Diego Regional EDC acted as liaison between the City of San Diego, the State of California and other entities to help the company through the process.  

Recently ranked by Deloitte Technology as one of the fastest-growing technology companies in North America, iboss Cybersecurity is heralded as the only company that can detect and contain large data breaches before loss occurs. iboss is also internationally recognized for its patented technology that automatically detects malicious data transfers before hackers can steal large amounts of sensitive information.

According to a 2015 economic impact study conducted by  EDC, iboss has a $59 million economic impact on the regional economy. With its new expansion, the company will directly employ approximately 270 workers. The company’s hires spur additional economic activity throughout the San Diego. In other words, for every ten jobs iboss creates in San Diego, an additional 13 new jobs are created in the region. Over the past three years, iboss has grown by more than 1800 percent and was named one of the fastest growing technology companies by Deloitte in 2014. The firm’s 4,000+ enterprise clients include Xerox, Sears and the U.S. Department of Interior.

iboss hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new global headquarters in Sorrento Mesa. The 43,000 square-foot will house a new iboss threat research center, which identifies new malware and viruses that threaten computer networks. The iboss office builds on the company’s commitment to the San Diego community and highlights the growing cybersecurity industry in the region.  iboss is also partnering with the nearby University of California-San Diego Supercomputer Center to develop an internship program that will provide the company with a rich talent pool of qualified graduates.

 

December 2, 2014

 

If you ask companies why they chose San Diego, more often than not, they will mention a combination of three things: the availability of talent, a strong innovation economy and access to Mexico. Global IT company KIO Networks - formerly redIT - will site all three. Since opening its first facility in Kearny Mesa in 2001, KIO Networks has seen its data business boom and has grown its San Diego and Tijuana footprint as a result.

We spoke with Matt Thoene, managing director, for this week’s spotlight.

1) Tell us about KIO Networks.

KIO Networks is a global technology company that provides managed IT services, high-capacity connectivity and data center services for a wide range of organizations in the U.S. and Latin America.  Our job is to enable companies to focus resources on what drives their competitive advantage – not the distractions of owning and managing IT – for a lower total cost of ownership than if they were to set up, implement, and manage it themselves.  Our managed cloud service offerings are focused at the “infrastructure as a service” level, so we're providing the facilities, hardware, and support that our clients rely on for the applications that are mission-critical to their business. A key differentiator for our San Diego business is our cross-border connectivity. We have more than 1,000 miles of fiber throughout Mexico which provide connectivity to U.S. based businesses that need access to their facilities and businesses in Tijuana and throughout Mexico.

2) What are some advantages of doing business in San Diego?
Why redIT chose SD?

The fact that one of our primary services is providing cross-border connectivity to an extensive fiber network in Tijuana and throughout Mexico is the largest advantage to being located in San Diego. We have helped customers stretch their critical applications from our world class secure data centers here in San Diego to the door of their facilities in Mexico with little latency. It is essentially as if KIO Networks can provide a fiber cross connect and all on the KIO Networks infrastructure to a client’s door internationally. In addition, the ability to leverage a pool of local technical talent has been a great driver for success in our business and has fueled our dynamic growth.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation. Pick another San Diego company that is at the top of its game.

I would have to select Cyberflow Analytics. I’m impressed with their innovative approach to security and system analytics. Their approach leads to early detection of advanced-persistent threats (APTs) and other anomalous behavior within a client’s environment.  KIO Networks is working with CyberFlow Analytics to use their technology within our network and managed-services environment to help our customers address the ever-increasing challenges of cybersecurity.  San Diego has a strong cyber cluster and Cyberflow Analytics is one company that proves that. As the Internet becomes the Internet of Things (IoT), CyberFlow Analytics allows us to address the more varied security requirements that IoT necessitates.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years?

We see ourselves expanding our data center and cloud computing services along our current fiber footprint from San Diego to the East Coast, with points of presence (PoP) in Los Angeles, Phoenix, El Paso, Dallas and Miami. We are also hoping to launch a PoP in New York within the next few months, allowing our customers to utilize our network to pass data from New York to Los Angeles. In addition, we will be growing our cross-border network assets as far south as Peru and overseas into Spain.  We're aggressively growing as a company that can truly support the needs of our international clients across the globe. Leveraging multiple platforms for cloud computing technologies is a big piece of our strategy as we continue to anticipate the needs of the market and build specific services and capabilities that align with those needs.

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March 20, 2014

Projected employment growth for Cyber industry

A report released today found that international criminal enterprises are increasingly focusing on California because of its wealth and innovation.

While this information can be off-putting at first, it’s good thing that San Diego is doing something about it. And it’s happening right now.

This morning, in an unprecedented show of collaboration, the San Diego business community came together to grow the region’s cyber footprint. Released today, “Cybersecurity in San Diego: an economic impact and industry assessment” found that the cyber industry impacts more than 13,000 jobs and has a total economic impact of $1.5 billion, which is more than the impact of hosting three Super Bowls every year. San Diego, with its culture of innovation and military footprint, is in a position to lead the industry nationally.

Cyber can be San Diego's next big jobs generator,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC. "Like biotech was 30 years ago, cyber has the potential to be a driving force for growth in both our innovation and military economies."

City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Representatives Scott Peters (D- 52) and Susan Davis (D–53) joined us for the release. City of San Diego Councilmember Mark Kersey (D -5) and Council President Pro Tem Sherri Lightner (D -1) also were in attendance at both an industry event and press conference at The Lodge at Torrey Pines.

Mayor Faulconer addresses crowd at CCOE launch

“San Diego’s robust culture of innovation and strong ties to America’s military forces uniquely positions our City to lead the cybersecurity industry,” said City of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I look forward to working with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and all of San Diego’s entrepreneurs and tech leaders to make sure that San Diego is a global pioneer in cybersecurity.”

Cybersecurity firms are expected to experience rapid employment growth. While the entire San Diego County employment base is expected to grow 2.2 percent from 2013-2014, cybersecurity firms are expected to grow by 13 percent. Overall, cybersecurity-centric jobs, such as software developers and information security analysts, are expected to grow by 25 percent.

"If we care about creating jobs and growing our economy, than we need to support the cybersecurity industry," said Congressman Scott Peters (D). "I have supported specific cyber legislation in the past and remain committed to working together to advocate for an industry that not only protects San Diego's jobs, but also safeguards American companies."

CCOE Logo

In an effort to accelerate this job growth strategy, the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) – a partnership dedicated to accelerating the cyber innovation economy – has formed.  Its powerfully diverse platform of leading cyber-related companies, military leaders and world-class academic partners are uniting in pursuit of a common economic-driven agenda to promote the region’s cyber strengths. Currently, the CCOE is comprised of an executive committee and is overseen by Holly Smithson of Sentek.

Nationally, cybersecurity has emerged as a priority as global retailers, medical providers, and critical infrastructure fall prey to significant data breaches and cyber theft. Cyber has evolved to become more than just an issue of the government, and now is a potential threat to all businesses and individuals.  In San Diego, more than 100 core cyber firms create a strong opportunity for the region to lead.

“We’re extremely excited about the launch of the CCOE and the opportunity for San Diego to capitalize on the national leadership of our cyber security sector,” said Andrew Lee CEO, ESET North America. “From supporting more cyber infrastructure growth, to attracting and developing IT talent, ESET is proud to contribute our resources and 25 years of experience in the cyber security space to this unique partnership of community and business leaders.”

On the heels of another round of sequestration, the cyber industry has even greater significance in both the national and local dialogue. Cybersecurity is one of two areas where the Department of Defense is adding resources. Locally, the cybersecurity industry is anchored by the U.S. Navy Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). SPAWAR alone impacts more than 6,100 jobs in San Diego and generates more than $705 million in total economic impact locally. U-T’s editorial board penned a great op-ed on the importance of SPAWAR to advancing San Diego’s cybersecurity cluster.

“SPAWAR's ability to accomplish our mission is strengthened by our public-private partnerships in this community.  These partnerships range from cooperative research initiatives with local industry or universities, to the more traditional contractual relationships for development, procurement and sustainment of advanced capabilities,” said Rear Admiral Patrick Brady, SPAWAR commander. “We rely heavily on the expertise of local businesses to build the tools our Fleet needs. In fiscal year 2013 alone, SPAWAR obligated more than $1 billion on contracts for worked performed in San Diego County.”

SPAWAR is central source of innovation for cybersecurity.  More than 90 percent of SPAWAR’s $7.3B budget is put on contract with private industry.

As a private-sector company, the military and government are important customers and are vital to our decision to be headquartered here, ” said Eric Basu, president and CEO of Sentek. “Sentek is proud to be in San Diego and we’re proud to be working with the CCOE to push the cyber cluster forward.”

As the study suggests, The Cyber Center of Excellence will be partnering with San Diego’s prestigious universities to attract and train entry- to mid-level cybersecurity workers.  As part of this commitment, EDC will continue its “iTrends @ UCSD” series, which will focus on cybersecurity. Open to individuals across all majors and schools, the program works to educate students about industries with growth opportunities throughout the San Diego region.

“UC San Diego has always worked hand-in-hand with the community to refine our curriculum and prepare our top-notch graduates for in-demand jobs,” said Pradeep K. Khosla, Chancellor of UC San Diego. “Our graduates go on to hold positions in some of the most competitive companies around the globe. As home to the San Diego Supercomputer Center, we will continue to produce the talent to ensure San Diego remains a cyber center of excellence.”

Tom Clancy, Chair of Software San Diego said: “San Diego is very compelling to cybersecurity companies due to its incredible technical talent pool, and the close collaboration between industry and academia. We have an abundance of individuals with security clearances, universities with cutting-edge research and workforce training programs, and direct access to customers in healthcare, defense, mobile, finance and energy.

Bank of America

The study was underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sentek Global.  National University System Institute for Policy Research – under the leadership of president Erik Bruvold – authored the study.

For a complete copy of the executive summary and full study, please visit http://www.sandiegobusiness.org/research/lvltw  and look under the report section.

Below, Chad Nelley of ESET on KPBS’ Midday Edition

 

Media coverage so far: