Our Focus Areas
SC Cyber, both internally and through a variety of partnerships, seeks to develop programs that address these identified needs. These programs fall broadly into five target areas. The following sections describe the early progress and current thinking regarding potential programs and opportunities.
Training and workforce development
Advanced technology development and commercialization
Critical infrastructure protection
One of the most significant, immediate needs is workforce development. This includes training new cybersecurity professionals, enhancing the credentialing of existing professionals, or retraining existing IT professionals so as to quickly add value in new, in-demand cybersecurity positions and augment the state’s cybersecurity workforce.
According to the most recent Burning Glass report, cybersecurity jobs in South Carolina have grown 134% in the last five years – outpacing the national rate of 91% – and there are more than 2,300 jobs currently unfilled in the state. In addition to the breakneck pace of growth, these jobs are highly lucrative, paying on average 9% more than other IT jobs. Certain, highly regarded credentials such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) carry even higher salaries and prestige premiums.
SC Cyber has identified two early opportunities to create workforce development capabilities.
The first opportunity – internally or through support of partners – is to deliver training and certification programs based on existing, highly-regarded programs. Beyond training cybersecurity professionals, SC Cyber will produce, based on already existing materials and in collaboration with its partners, new executive education programs to provide current best practices in threat analysis, infrastructure protection, and security management to senior leadership in business, government, and law.
The second is to leverage the post-secondary pipeline and create a system of internships and apprenticeships.
Working with academic and industry partners, SC Cyber will support efforts to improve cybersecurity education statewide, spanning K-12 through postgraduate studies. SC Cyber has a unique opportunity to provide a connection point to allow faculty from partner academic institutions, professionals from industry, and leaders from government to contribute knowledge and materials that can be drawn upon by all stakeholders.
At the K-12 level, SC Cyber will partner with organizations to enhance curricula already being developed, as well as to provide material support and additional connections to industry mentors, instructors, and specialists. Through partnerships with organizations like the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center, SC Cyber and its statewide collaborators can enhance education for teachers and help them to prepare students to safely participate in the digital world.
At the college and university level, SC Cyber will primarily provide a repository for sharing among faculty specialists from the University of South Carolina (USC)’s NSA Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education & Research and the new NSA CAE at The Citadel, across partner institutions, and from industry professionals. By providing direct access to specialized, industry-focused educational materials and personnel, SC Cyber can help faculty across the state teach students timely, practical skills in addition to the required theoretical underpinnings.
One of the greatest potential contributions to the security of the state’s critical infrastructure is the rapid sourcing, development, testing, and adoption of advanced cybersecurity technology. Given its capabilities, its university and small business partners, and its unique ability to connect early-stage, entrepreneurial teams with corporate or government mentorship, SC Cyber has an immense opportunity to accelerate technology development and commercialization among its partners.
Through partnerships with the statewide innovation centers, accelerators, and similar initiatives, SC Cyber has the capability to connect cross-disciplinary teams of researchers, business professionals, and corporate mentors for the quick development of targeted solutions that can be rapidly tested, adopted by partners, and brought to market.
A recurring theme in preparedness is the need for information sharing; this critically important need has been echoed throughout the early meetings of SC Cyber. Through real-time communication tools and channels, in-person meetings and exercises, and an annual Cyber Summit, SC Cyber will provide mechanisms for partners to collaborate on timely, critical issues facing their respective institutions.
In addition to traditional information sharing, SC Cyber and its partners are working to offer software and technology solutions for the benefit of the group. For example, through partnerships with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the SC National Guard, SC Cyber will offer advanced threat detection tools to industry and government entities statewide and build a technology platform and process that is exportable as a model to the rest of the country.