Maryland's investment in cyber pays off

05/01/2017| Maureen Kilcullen

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Maryland's investment in cyber pays off

05/01/2017 | Maureen Kilcullen

Maryland's cybersecurity sector includes some of the most imaginative and innovative entrepreneurs in the field of information security. Surprised? Take a look at these names – Sourcefire, Light Point Security, RedOwl, SecurityDo (now Fluency), and EnVeil. As a start-up or emerging business, each company reached the finals of the RSA Conference's highly competitive Innovation Sandbox over the 12-year history of the competition. Two companies – Sourcefire in 2005 and RedOwl in 2014 – claimed the Innovation Sandbox's coveted title of Most Innovative Company.

Each year since its founding in 2005, the Innovation Sandbox has attracted hundreds of submissions from countries across the globe. This year alone, nearly 800 companies applied and just 10 were selected as finalists. EnVeil, located in DataTribe in Columbia, Md., was among the finalists. Ellison Anne Williams, a NSA veteran who founded the company just seven months ago, made her case for EnVeil during the Innovation Sandbox live finals at the RSA Conference in February. EnVeil was named the Innovation Sandbox's first-ever second-place winner.

Cybersecurity is a focus industry for Maryland and the state's emphasis on the industry is clearly paying off. Most recently, eleven Maryland cyber companies were named to Cybersecurity Ventures' first quarter 2017 "Cybersecurity 500" list, recognizing "the hottest and most innovative cybersecurity companies" in the cyber sector:

Anne Arundel County

Baltimore City

Howard County
IronNet Cybersecurity
Tenable Network Security

Montgomery County
Lockheed Martin
Saint Corporation

Throughout Maryland's cyber sector, career opportunities abound and schools at all levels have developed curriculum and programs to prepare future generations of cyber warriors. Their efforts are gaining national recognition. Lastmonth alone, students from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and two Maryland high schools competed in the finals of national cyber contests.

UMBC won the 2017 National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (NCCDC) in San Antonio, Texas. Presented by Raytheon, the NCCDC engages students in a series of real-life cyber simulations leading up to the national finals. This year's competition attracted more than 230 colleges and universities, with 10 teams competing for the coveted NCCDC Alamo Cup.

Loyola Blakefield and Poolesville High School vied for top honors in the CyberPatriot National Finals in Baltimore, landing spots among the ten finalists in their division. Created by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot competition attracted more than 4,000 teams from high schools around the country.

Stay tuned for more good news coming out of Maryland's cyber industry!

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