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Georgia Details Plans For New Cybersecurity Center

Three months after its grand opening, Georgia officials are detailing plans for its new $100 million Cyber Center.

The center, located on the campus of Augusta University, is designed as a home for cybersecurity training, an incubator and accelerator for startup companies and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s new cybercrime unit. The center will also bring in personnel from the University System of Georgia, the state department of defense and other public- and private-sector parties.

“It is making us a national leader in cyber. training and education, and already is attracting talented students to Augusta who will in turn become highly training cybersecurity professionals,” Augusta University President Brooks Keel said in a press release in July.

This week at the National Association of State Chief Information Officers annual conference in San Diego, Calvin Rhodes, Georgia’s Chief Information Officer, gave a presentation detailing the future plans for the Cyber Center.

Rhodes said that the cybersecurity training and research center was already 70 percent full and will soon be a truing ground for military and civilian personnel alike.

State and local government employees from across the state will also use the new center to learn better cybersecurity practices, which will allow them to get much more hands-on training, Rhodes said. New training courses will be much more intensive.

“What’s different now is that you’ll still have that lecture, you might have some coursework to do, but that’s 25 percent or less of the class,” he told StateScoop. “The 75 percent is that you’re sitting in some scenario that’s been designed by the center, and showing people what you can do but more importantly what you cannot do.”

Rhodes said the Cyber Center’s facilities will be able to replicate state government systems for training simulations, a practice that is oftentimes used by large corporations. Practicing cybersecurity breakdowns in a life-like environment could help prevent more situations like the ransomware attack that hit Atlanta in March. – Security Today

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