This year Georgia took a big step forward in cybersecurity with the development and construction of its cyber center and training range, moving from proposal to ribbon-cutting on an aggressive 18-month timeline.

Funded entirely with state cash on hand, the $100 million Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center brings together universities and technical colleges, private-sector businesses, and law enforcement, as well as the Army Cyber Command, a strategic group within the military branch that was consolidated at the center in Augusta.

State CIO Calvin Rhodes described the motivations behind creating the cyber center, as well as the far-reaching impact it will have on state security. He laid out five program areas, including research and development, training and education, and innovation and incubation. One of the main drivers for private-sector partners to get involved, Rhodes said, comes from ready access to the center’s student population. Already, 500 students from local schools are taking courses at the training center, and the state anticipates that number to grow dramatically.

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