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April 21, 2011

Maryland Leaders Attend UMBC Briefing on Cybersecurity Innovation and Education

Anthony Lane

Gov. Martin O’Malley, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and other Maryland government and higher education leaders gathered at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) today for a briefing about the accelerating growth in cybersecurity activity at the university and its research and technology park.

In 16 months, the bwtech@UMBC Research and Technology Park has become a cybersecurity hub, expanding from one to 17 companies developing the innovative technologies and services needed to secure and protect computer systems. The companies benefit from Maryland’s leadership in cybersecurity and bwtech’s proximity to key federal cybersecurity assets located at Fort Meade 10 miles away. Fort Meade is home to the National Security Agency (NSA), U.S. Cyber Command and, later this year, the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Today was the official launch of bwtech’s cyber-focused Advantage Incubator and the Northrop Grumman Cync Program. The Advantage Incubator applies bwtech’s successful business incubation framework to support companies working in the emerging field of cybersecurity.

The Cync Program, part of the Advantage Incubator, developed through an innovative partnership between UMBC and Northrop Grumman. It seeks out and supports companies developing new tools to protect the computer hardware, software and networks vital to national security. Today, after a national search, bwtech and Northrop Grumman welcomed the first two companies to the program:

• Five Directions is an early-stage company working to develop technology that would enable high-assurance file sharing via public or private clouds. Using a data-centric approach, Five Directions secures access through credentialing, encryption and a robust audit trail. The company’s founder, William Arbaugh, also started Komoku, a provider of advanced rootkit security detection solutions, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2008.

• Rogue Networks is working to develop BreachBox, a product that enables traffic monitoring, alerting and the enforcement of flow policies on large enterprise networks. This early-stage company recently deployed BreachBox during a pilot study with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to enforce traffic policies and contain activity based on internal identity use.

“Maryland has become a national leader in cybersecurity and innovation,” said Governor O’Malley. “From our world-class facilities, federal agencies and military commands to our vibrant and growing private sector and talented universities, we are uniquely positioned to lead the way to protect and defend the nation’s digital infrastructure. Today represents the next great frontier for discovery, detection and defense, and I am proud to join with UMBC and Northrop Grumman to prepare for the jobs and opportunities of the new economy right here in Maryland.”

The two new companies in the Cync Program bring the total in the Advantage Incubator to nine. Eight other companies at bwtech — including Telcordia, a global leader in communications software, and RTGX, a growing Maryland business that takes a system-wide approach to cybersecurity — are advancing state and national goals for securing information systems. A full list of the companies can be viewed here.

"I'm so proud of UMBC for harnessing the growth in cyber security right here in Maryland," Senator Mikulski said. "With unique federal cyber security assets like the National Security Agency, Maryland is the world's epicenter for cyber security. UMBC is leveraging these federal assets, Maryland's entrepreneurial private sector and our outstanding educational system to prepare people for the jobs of today and help create the jobs of the future."

"The recent burst of cyber security companies at UMBC is just the beginning of new economic and job opportunities in Baltimore County," said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. "Our strategic location and superb university resources will play a growing role as the nation develops new technologies to protect critical information systems at agencies such as the Social Security Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Woodlawn."

Companies at bwtech draw on UMBC’s strengths in research and workforce development. UMBC is an NSA Center of Academic Excellence for information assurance education and research. It ranks fourth among U.S. research universities in the production of IT degrees and certificates, and it offers master’s degree and graduate certificate programs in cybersecurity. UMBC Training Centers is also a leader in IT and cybersecurity training.

“We are thankful to all the Maryland leaders who have made this growth in cybersecurity activity at bwtech possible,” said Ellen Hemmerly, bwtech@UMBC’s executive director. “We are excited to see the innovation that is happening at bwtech rise to new levels as the Advantage Incubator and Northrop Grumman Cync Program expand.”

Northrop Grumman is an industry leader in all aspects of computer network operations and cybersecurity, offering customers innovative solutions to help secure the nation's cyber future. The company’s 75,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. For more information about cybersecurity at Northrop Grumman, go to

Posted by alane at April 21, 2011 2:29 PM