Massachusetts has launched an Advanced Cyber Security Center (ACSC) with the goal of bringing together the public and private sectors to build future security technologies and strategies that protect critical IT infrastructures.
This is a regionally based strategy to engage other regions and governments ... We hope [Cyber Security Centers] will grow up in other regions.
Bill Guenther, president, ACSC
Founding members and state officials, including Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Attorney General Martha Coakley, officially unveiled the center at a launch conference, Tuesday, in Bedford, Mass.
The new ACSC is one of the first of its kind in the nation. Experts planning to collaborate at the center will come from health care, defense, financial services and the technology industries.
“ACSC was created because there’s widespread recognition that no single organization can deal effectively with advanced cyberthreats,” said Bill Guenther, president of ACSC. “We have widespread goals of information sharing and development of integrated strategies in a cross-sector collaboration.”
The non-profit corporation is based at the MITRE Corporation and is supported by Mass Insight Global Partnerships. The center is in its second year of existence. The plan is to use a higher profile to foster collaboration between researchers, government and universities to address critical and sophisticated cybersecurity challenges. It received $50,000 in funding from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC), a public economic development agency that promotes technology-focused businesses in Massachusetts.
Guenther said the new center aims to bring together public and private-sector industries with universities to improve enterprise security and preparedness for emerging threats, and promote educational programs that help shape national policy.
“There are two primary objectives,” Guenther said. “One is to develop a new effective model of real-time sharing of threat information, to become a hybrid of some other national collaborations. The second is to become a new model for industry and universities to collaborate, to prime the pump for larger scale projects that would be federally funded.”
ACSC will bring together university, government and expert research practitioners to conduct threat analysis, research and develop new technologies, share best practices and expand graduate education opportunities.
The Center has developed three work groups that deal with separate entities: threat evaluation and data sharing, university-industry partnerships, and policy and legal matters.
“This is a regionally based strategy to engage other regions and governments,” Guenther said, adding that the New England region has a lot of industry and education. “We hope [Cyber Security Centers] will grow up in other regions.”