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Maryland to sign cybersecurity agreement with NIST

ANNAPOLIS — Maryland officials signed an agreement with the National Institute of Standards and Technology on Tuesday to more clearly define the development of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in the state to boost the development of cybersecurity.

The agreement marks the latest step in a public-private partnership. State officials say 16 companies have agreed to provide hardware, software and expertise to advance the development of cybersecurity technologies, including Cisco Systems, McAfee, Microsoft, RSA and Symantec.

Plans call for moving a temporary home for the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, which is now housed in the Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research at the Universities at Shady Grove, to a renovated 65,000-square-foot building in Rockville. The building is owned by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation. Federal, state and local officials say the goal of the center is to bring together government and private-sector knowledge to improve cybersecurity and create jobs.

Gov. Martin O’Malley said Maryland already is the seat of considerable work in the cybersecurity field due to the presence of the National Security Agency in Anne Arundel County.

“What we need to do is make sure that we capitalize on the security mission to create jobs and expand opportunities for Maryland and Maryland’s young people,” O’Malley said at a news conference with Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Acting Undersecretary of Commerce Patrick Gallagher and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.

Mikulski, D-Md., said cybersecurity is a matter of growing importance in national security needs as well as electronic financial and health records.

“We want to do something about these cybersecurity threats to your personal identity, to your credit card security, to your records — be they financial records or your medical records,” Mikulski said. “That’s what we’re focusing on.”

Gallagher said the agreement formalizes a commitment that the state of Maryland and Montgomery County has made to collaborate on helping businesses in a variety of sectors to enhance cybersecurity development.

“This agreement that we’re signing today encourages technology transfer of government-developed technologies to companies for licensing and from one government agency to another,” Gallagher said.