Maryland: The cyber capital of America

06/19/2019| Maureen Kilcullen

Maryland: The cyber capital of America

06/19/2019 | Maureen Kilcullen

When you think “cybersecurity” you might think Silicon Valley, Calif.; Austin, Texas; or Cambridge, Mass. You should be thinking Maryland!

Home to an unrivaled array of cybersecurity assets, Maryland has what some call an ecosystem of talent, technology, and research. Couple that with a supportive environment for businesses at all stages – as well as incentives and tax credits that nurture and encourage investment in growing companies – and you can see why Governor Larry Hogan has dubbed Maryland The Cyber Capital of America.

With 60 federal civilian agencies and 20 military installations – including the U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency – in the state, it’s no surprise that entrepreneurs coming out of the federal government have brought technology to the commercial market. One such entrepreneur is Ellison Anne Williams, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Enveil in Fulton, who used homomorphic encryption technology developed at NSA to create a virtual veil that protects data at rest, in transit, or in use. Since its founding in 2016, Enveil has attracted national recognition – most recently, the company was among just 28 startups recognized by CB Insights’ Cyber Defenders list for their potential to transform cybersecurity.

Entrepreneurs from both the public and private sectors – as well as long-established business leaders – are making their mark in cybersecurity. In fact, 15 Maryland companies were named to Cybersecurity Ventures’ 2018 Cybersecurity 500 list, which recognizes the “hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies” in the world. The list includes TrustedKnight in Annapolis; Protenus, Terbium Labs, and ZeroFOX in Baltimore; Arxan Technologies, Fidelis Cybersecurity, and Lockheed Martin in Bethesda; Cybrary in College Park; Silent Circle and Tenable in Columbia; IronNet Cybersecurity, Sonatype, and Enveil in Fulton; and KEYW and Dragos in Hanover.

Investors are taking note. Tenable’s IPO in July 2018 raised $251 million. In November, Dragos attracted $37 million in investments. RackTop Systems in Fulton closed a $15 million equity round in March. KEYW was acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group in April, for approximately $603 million. And last month, Protenus announced $13 million in new equity funding.

The vitality of Maryland’s cybersecurity sector has spurred cyber-focused developments, including Annapolis Junction in Anne Arundel County, Port Covington in Baltimore City, and Columbia Gateway and Merriweather District in Howard County. Port Covington has already attracted venture capital firm Allegis Cyber, start-up studio DataTribe, and investment bank and corporate advisory firm Evergreen Advisors. And Tenable’s new headquarters will anchor the Merriweather District.

There’s much more to come. Stay tuned for more developments from The Cyber Capital of America!

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