May 29, 2014

HERZILYA – Thursday, May 29, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today participated in a Cyber Security Panel with members of the Massachusetts-Israel Innovation Partnership Mission 2014 to discuss the successful security initiatives in Massachusetts and collaborate with partners in Israel to grow our cybersecurity sectors. Today’s panel discussion was hosted by EMC Israel.

“Cybersecurity is a sector where we anticipate significant job growth in the coming years,” said Governor Patrick. “Today’s panel offers an opportunity to share best practices with our Israeli partners in recruiting, training and retaining the very best talent that our world has to offer in order to meet the growing demand for cyber jobs.”

The growing cybersecurity sector serves as a challenge, but an even greater opportunity for Massachusetts, the Nation and the world. It is an issue with tremendous national security implications and a field with unmet demand for the jobs of the 21st century economy.

"Protecting the Commonwealth's cyber infrastructure from people intent on interfering with critical systems or gaining unlawful access to information is a shared responsibility of the private and public sectors,” said Massachusetts Undersecretary for Homeland Security and Emergency Management Kurt Schwartz. “In the coming years, the threat posed by cyber criminals, which already is high, will only increase. Protecting our systems, which is a primary responsibility of our homeland security enterprise, requires strong public-private partnerships and reliance on the technology sector of which Israel is a leader."

According to a recent Cisco analysis, the demand for IT professionals is increasing, as it is the second fastest growing field in the United States. Additionally, it is expected that 10,000 jobs will be needed for elite cyber technicians and 55,000 jobs will be needed for operators and administrators nationwide.

Similarly, in the past three years, Israel’s cybersecurity field has grown from a few dozen companies to more than 220, and has raised more than $400 million, according to the Tel Aviv-based IVC Research Center. Twenty multinational companies now operate online-security development centers in Israel, half of which were established since 2011.

"Cybersecurity Research and Development is a critically important element of the Israel/Massachusetts high-tech infrastructure," said Dr. Orna Berry, chief of EMC's R&D efforts in Israel. "And the success of this Cybersecurity initiative will depend heavily on technology collaboratively developed in both Massachusetts and Israel."

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts through the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Massachusetts Army National Guard, the Information Technology Division and the University of Massachusetts are members of the Advanced Cyber Security Center. The center is a nonprofit consortium that brings together industry, university and government partners to address the most advanced cyber threats. By focusing on sharing cyber threat information, engaging in next-generation cybersecurity research and development and creating education programs that will address the shortfall in cyber talent, the Center works toward the goal of establishing New England as a major region for cybersecurity research and development, education and thought leadership.

Recently, Governor Patrick hosted the Cyber Aces State Championship, where dozens of individuals knowledgeable in the cybersecurity sector were able to show off their skills, and compete for scholarships and opportunities for further training. The Championship continues to provide skill training for careers in cybersecurity, and works to help close the gap that exists in Massachusetts and across the nation for elite cyber technicians. The Cyber Aces Initiative was launched in September 2013 to challenge the Commonwealth’s most talented and ambitious citizens in showing off their knowledge in cybersecurity. Cyber Aces is a national nonprofit organization working to discover and develop talent and build pathways to cybersecurity jobs.