South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and the University of South Carolina President Bob Caslen announced on Thursday (Feb. 4) an effort to develop a statewide cyber ecosystem— the first step in making South Carolina a highly-competitive player in the cyber industry. South Carolina is already home to many public and private organizations operating in the cyber field, and this strategy will align existing efforts under one unified vision, improving capabilities for stakeholders across the board.
At a State House press conference, McMaster announced the launch of an initial study to inventory the state’s cyber assets, analyze key strengths and gaps, and form a development strategy. The goal of the study will be to survey the state’s existing cyber ecosystem, including verticals in education, investment, defense partnerships, workforce and industry development and public awareness.
Last year, the state held several working sessions with key public and private stakeholders in the cyber industry to discuss an initial vision and goals for this effort. Those stakeholders and others will form a coordinating committee to help guide the study, including to collect the data needed to conduct a proper asset assessment.
“This statewide cyber strategy is an opportunity to develop a cyber ecosystem that trains, attracts, and produces a workforce for the knowledge economy’s high-tech, high-paying jobs,” said McMaster. “Cyber professionals are in high demand, and through these efforts we can make South Carolina one of the nation’s premier cyber hubs.”
The plan will take advantage of existing cyber assets, including the UofSC system, which is leading the state’s cyber policy, legal, and workforce development efforts; Fort Gordon in nearby Augusta, Georgia, home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command and the U.S. Army Cyber Center of Excellence; the Naval Information Warfare Center in Charleston; the Port of Charleston; and the recently announced Savannah River National Laboratory collaborative involving UofSC Columbia and UofSC Aiken.