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Study results in formation of SD cybersecurity center

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The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., in collaboration with the cybersecurity business community, released a study on the industry’s economic impact in the region in an effort to increase that footprint. As part of this endeavor to accelerate job growth and the cyber innovation economy, the Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) has formed to serve as a hub for collaboration.

The study, “Cybersecurity in San Diego: an economic impact and industry assessment” found that the cyber industry impacts more than 13,000 jobs and has a total economic impact of $1.5 billion in San Diego County, which is more than the impact of hosting three Super Bowls every year. San Diego, with its culture of innovation and military footprint, is in a position to lead the industry nationally.

“Cyber can be San Diego's next big jobs generator,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of San Diego Regional EDC. "Like biotech was 30 years ago, cyber has the potential to be a driving force for growth in both our innovation and military economies."

The study revealed that cybersecurity firms are expected to experience rapid employment growth. While the entire San Diego County employment base is expected to grow 2.2 percent from 2013 to 2014, cybersecurity firms are expected to grow by 13 percent. Overall, cybersecurity-centric jobs, such as software developers and information security analysts, are expected to grow by 25 percent.

“San Diego’s robust culture of innovation and strong ties to America’s military forces uniquely positions our City to lead the cybersecurity industry,” said Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “I look forward to working with the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation and all of San Diego’s entrepreneurs and tech leaders to make sure that San Diego is a global pioneer in cybersecurity.”

Through the CCOE, a diverse platform of leading cyber-related companies, military leaders and world-class academic partners are uniting in pursuit of a common economic-driven agenda to promote the region’s cyber strengths.

“We’re extremely excited about the launch of the CCOE and the opportunity for San Diego to capitalize on the national leadership of our cyber security sector,” said Andrew Lee, CEO of ESET North America. “From supporting more cyber infrastructure growth, to attracting and developing IT talent, ESET is proud to contribute our resources and 25 years of experience in the cyber security space to this unique partnership of community and business leaders.”

On the heels of another round of sequestration, the cyber industry has even greater significance in both the national and local dialogue. Cybersecurity is one of two areas where the Department of Defense is adding resources. Locally, the cybersecurity industry is anchored by the U.S. Navy Space & Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). SPAWAR alone impacts more than 6,100 jobs in San Diego and generates more than $705 million in total economic impact locally.

The study was underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Sentek Global.

VIDEO: Eric Basu, Holly Smithson on cybersecurity

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ESET North America Executive(s):

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