A call for new cybersecurity leadership came from Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker at yesterday’s 2018 Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum. Hosted by Gov. Baker, the forum brought together more than 200 of the state’s foremost practitioners from the public and private sectors.
The forum included thought leaders from cybersecurity companies, universities and research and development centers to discuss ways to improve cyber resiliency in Massachusetts. To that end, Gov. Baker appointed US Navy captain Stephanie A. Helm as the first director of the MassCyberCenter at the Mass Tech Collaborative.
“The Center will play a central role to help convene discussions within state government, and with our industry and academic partners, helping move forward on a collaborative approach to address the cyber threats we face, “ said Cpt. Helm in a press release.
“I’m excited to lead this effort on behalf of the Commonwealth and to better prepare the state to manage future cyber threats. Cybersecurity is important for the well-being of our communities and I look forward to contributing to this team effort.”
Cpt. Helm brings 30 years of experience with her to the role of director. “We look forward to the work the MassCyberCenter will do under Cpt. Helm’s leadership,” said Gov. Baker. “The support and guidance the Council will provide, and the impact that our Cybersecurity Workforce Talent Challenge winners will make in support of the broader strategy to support cybersecurity in the Commonwealth and make Massachusetts’ public and private institutions more resilient to cybersecurity attacks.”
Massachusetts currently has three key cybersecurity projects through the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Workforce Talent Challenge. To fund efforts to train job seekers for entry-level cybersecurity positions, the governor also announced that the three projects will received a total of $385,868 in grants.
Bay Path University’s Engaging Student Interns in Cybersecurity Audits with Smaller Supply Chain project will received $250,000, the largest portion of the grant funding, while STEMatch, a collaboration between community colleges and cybersecurity service and technology providers, will receive $61,178. A public-private partnership, MassHire Greater New Bedford Workforce Board, is slated to receive $74,690.
Also highlighted at yesterday’s forum was the work being done by the Cybersecurity Education and Training Consortium, driven in large part by the partnership between the Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) and the University of Massachusetts.