The state of Georgia strengthened its position as a national leader in cybersecurity with the July 2018 opening of the Georgia Cyber Center in Augusta.
Since its creation in 2000, the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) has continuously worked to make the state of Georgia's information technology infrastructure secure from cyber threats both external and internal. The state took a large step forward on January 11, 2017, when Governor Nathan Deal announced his vision for the Cyber Center in his State of the State address. The $100 million center represents the single largest investment in a cybersecurity facility by a state government to date. The center trains the next generation of professionals through education and real-world practice, and it supports innovative companies focused on technology to strengthen online defenses.
The state-of-the-art center spans 332,000 square feet in two adjacent buildings located on the Nathan Deal Campus for Innovation. Groundbreaking on the first of the two buildings, the Hull McKnight Building, took place on June 19, 2017, and the building opened on time and within budget on July 10, 2018. It is named in honor of James M. Hull and William D. McKnight, prominent business and community leaders in Augusta.
Groundbreaking for the second building, the Shaffer MacCartney Building, took place on January 3, 2018, and it is scheduled to open on January 10, 2019. It is named in honor of Michael Shaffer, Augusta University's executive vice president of strategic partnerships and economic development, and Teresa MacCartney, director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Both have had central roles in establishing the Cyber Center. The campus also includes a multi-level parking deck funded by the city of Augusta.
The center represents a unique public/private partnership that includes Augusta University, Augusta Technical College, the University System of Georgia’s research institutions, the city of Augusta, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Defense, GTA, and other state, federal, and private-sector partners. It houses Augusta University’s School of Computer and Cyber Sciences and Cyber Institute. Augusta’s growing cybersecurity sector is home to the U.S. Army Cyber Command and Cyber School of Excellence at Fort Gordon.
The center is linked to certificate programs as well as undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in cybersecurity and cyber sciences. Offerings include both on-site and virtual courses. The Georgia Cybersecurity Workforce Academy is housed at the center and offers training for state and local government information security professionals. The center includes demonstration space to highlight cyber research activities under way across Georgia’s university system, including basic and applied research activities at Augusta University.
A key component of the Cyber Center is the Georgia Cyber Range. The range is a heterogeneous computing environment used to practice incident response, conduct penetration testing, fuzz binaries across multiple processor architectures, and more. It provides tools that help strengthen the stability, security, and performance of cyber infrastructures and IT systems. It is available to students, industry, and government professionals in education and training, product development, offensive activity and competition, detection and defensive competition, response and recovery, and evaluation and benchmarking.
The center houses the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s new cybercrime unit, and law enforcement professionals throughout the state are able to take advantage of the GBI’s expertise in digital forensics.
The center provides incubation and accelerator programs through theClubhou.se, an Augusta-based non-profit, to support cybersecurity innovation and entrepreneurship.
Build-to-suit Class A space is available for lease to industry-related companies. In addition, a 340-seat auditorium is available for STEM-related events in line with the center’s mission.
Learn more about the Cyber Center at www.cybercenter.georgia.gov.