State officials and UofSC hoping to unlock South Carolina’s cyber industry potential

Nation and World News

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — This week, Governor Henry McMaster and the University of South Carolina announced a new statewide cyber initiative.

They said they are working to establish a state cyber ecosystem that would make South Carolina competitive in the industry.

One of the first things they are doing is studying the state’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to cyber.

They are hoping to take a look at the state’s cyber assets and what changes need to be made to better tailor the state for the industry. Gov. McMaster said, “It will provide careers for our people. It will take us another step in our workforce development and prosperity. It will help take us to the top which is where we want to be.”

The University of South Carolina is leading the effort, they said last year, various stake holders got together to figure out where the state stands. Bill Kirkland is the Executive Director for the school’s Office of Innovation, Partnerships, & Economic Engagement.

He said there learned a lot in those conversations. Kirkland said, “There’s very little communication between those firms on the best ways to respond to growing cyber challenges and the educational workforce needs in the future.”

Officials said in addition to the economic boost, the initative will get everybody on the same page in South Carolina. It would also lead to better information security in the state, privacy protection for local governments, private companies and all South Carolinians.

UofSC President Bob Caslen said the initiative could open up opportunities for their students and schools to work with the Department of Defense and Department of Energy. All of this, elevating the university’s and state’s reputation in the industry.

Caslen said, “What’s really important is the service this would provide not only to South Carolina but the nation.”

The school said in the coming years they hope to establish the South Carolina Cyber Institute as well.

According to officials, once the study is done, the state and stake holders are expected to invest in cyber capability and capacity through education and workforce.

Gov. McMaster said, “The cyber world is an exciting one. It’s a new frontier for technology and innovation, imagination.”

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