The NC Center for Cybersecurity

Headquartered in Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity, a 501(c)3 organization, accelerate regional economic development through applied cybersecurity to foster economic development. It will also position North Carolina as a leader in cybersecurity workforce development at the community level to help existing businesses meet the global demand for a more secure supply chain. Regional hubs across the state, operating under the umbrella of the North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity (NCCC), will concentrate on:

  • Workforce development aimed at training students and retraining the local workforce to solve practical cybersecurity problems and help companies seeking a consistent supply of cybersecurity talent across multiple disciplines.

  • Public, private, and academic collaboration focused on developing practical solutions to commercial cybersecurity problems that match each region’s economic strengths.

Regional Frameworks

The North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity will begin working immediately with the Piedmont Triad to build and test a flexible framework for public, private, and academic collaboration that can be adopted and modified to fit other regions. Other North Carolina regions are encouraged to participate alongside the Piedmont Triad as founding, benchmark communities. The framework will evolve based on community input, but the current vision includes:

  • Facilitating the delivery of secure products and services to meet the growing, worldwide demand for secure-by-design solutions is one example of how the North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity will benefit the Piedmont Triad’s manufacturing, biotechnology, transportation, and logistics industries. These, and dozens of other local industries, need novel solutions to shared cybersecurity problems like managing third party cyber risk and defending against nation-state attacks on our economic capabilities.

  • Having trained staff to implement cybersecurity solutions is another shared problem. Bringing academic and private sector leaders together helps keep college and university programs aligned with current and future industry needs. It will also facilitate the development of hands-on training programs that allow students to get practical experience to augment their academic knowledge.

  • The North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity’s role is to facilitate discussions between captains of industry, academic leaders, and government officials around key topics like those mentioned above. Through state and federal connections, additional expertise and resources can be brought to bear on the toughest of problems.

Cyber On Main

At the federal level, a new public-private partnership is beginning to take shape. Cyber on Main’s goal is to offer support for community based cybersecurity initiatives that address nation-scale problems like building regional capacity to counter systemic risk, a problem that is best tackled through cooperative community and regional programs. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA, which is part of Homeland Security) are supportive of the intent and concept of Cyber on Main and they are working through legal channels for a formal request for assistance.

A founder of the North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity was a signatory to the formal request and is working closely with representatives from CISA to shape this national program that supports community-based cybersecurity programs. Through this relationship, the North Carolina Center for Cybersecurity and its regional hubs will provide a model for other communities across the nation.