Cybersecurity center to be expanded

Democrats Gov. Martin O'Malley and Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski announced Tuesday a joint effort to invest $24 million in building a national resource for businesses grappling with cybersecurity challenges.

The federal, state and Montgomery County money will move and dramatically expand the existing 7,000 square-foot National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Rockville to a new 65,000 square-foot space across town. With its new home, officials said the center could help more companies solve cybersecurity problems and serve as a larger incubator to help start-up technology companies grow.

The expansion further solidifies Maryland's grip on the cybersecurity industry. The center was created by 2012 and is run by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The federal government will pay $15 million to expand it. The state and Montgomery County will pay $4.5 million each to help cover the cost.

O'Malley said the center will help encourage investment in Maryland's economy. Mikulski said the government needs to do a better job of helping companies protect people's private data.

"We want Maryland to be the epicenter of cybersecurity," she said.

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