by Maureen Kilcullen
October 7, 2011
Brothers Kevin and John Powderly had a dream – to take what they learned in more than a decade with GE and launch a company dedicated to keeping clients’ computer networks and data secure. It was a gamble, for in those days – the late 1990s – cybersecurity was a mere blip on the radar screen of technology companies. Today, it’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry employing more than 60,000 in Maryland alone.
Today, CyberCore Technologies – the company Kevin and John Powderly launched in 2000 – employs more than 200 Marylanders with expertise in cybersecurity, systems integration and secure supply chain management, who serve a client roster that includes some of the most recognizable names in both the government and commercial markets. In the 11 years since its founding, CyberCore has grown at double-digit rates annually. The company anticipates more than $200 million in sales in this year.
Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley joined the Powderly brothers and more than 300 guests at CyberCore to kick off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
“John and Kevin are just two of the amazing Marylanders who are working at the forefront of the Innovation Economy,” said Governor O’Malley, “creating jobs by advancing the cures, sciences, technologies and discoveries that are remaking our world for the better.”
If there was any doubt that Maryland is indeed the epicenter of cybersecurity, Governor O’Malley’s remarks – and the breadth of talent and expertise evident among those gathered at CyberCore – dispelled that doubt. From defense industry behemoths like Lockheed Martin that are protecting the security of our nation and our cyberspace, to educators like the University of Maryland that are turning out the next generation of cyber warriors, Maryland’s leadership in discovery, detection and defense was on display.
Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open CyberCore’s new state-of-the-art integration center and lab, the Governor met with a representative group of industry leaders – including CSC, Eagle Alliance, Lockheed Martin and Lexmark – for a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity’s challenges and opportunities for Maryland. Participants in the roundtable commented on policy and law, education and workforce, investment and economic development. Dr. Patrick G. O’Shea, the University of Maryland’s Vice President for Research and Senior Research Officer, touted the innovative cybersecurity curricula developed by the university and its sister institutions, UMBC and UMUC. These institutions – and ten others in Maryland – have been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as National Centers of Academic Excellence.
Maryland cyber industry leaders gather in front of the CyberCore Integration Center
The visit to CyberCore was one in a series of events to commemorate National Cybersecurity Month in Maryland. The state’s economic development chief, Christian Johansson, wrapped up a business development mission to Silicon Valley Thursday. Maryland is a founding sponsor – along with SAIC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County – of the inaugural Maryland Cyber Challenge (MDC3) at the Baltimore Convention Center on October 21 and 22 and featuring high school, college and professional teams competing for scholarships and prize money. A new exhibit showcasing Maryland’s cyber strengths will be launched at MDC3, and a CyberMaryland advertising campaign debuted this month on WashingtonPost.com.
“There is an axiom in business that you should only compete when you have a competitive advantage,” said Governor O’Malley. “When it comes to the emerging growth sector of cybersecurity, Maryland has a whole host of competitive advantages. I would argue that no state is better positioned than Maryland to lead the nation’s defense against cyber crime.”