Protecting our nation’s valuable information assets from hackers and other threats is often dependent on better collaborations—both public-private partnerships and state, local, and federal efforts.
NIST’s National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence  is all about such partnerships. And that’s why I was honored to join U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Montgomery County Maryland Executive Isiah Leggett and Maryland’s Secretary of Economic Development Dominick Murray Tuesday to celebrate a new agreement that extends public collaboration on this important topic. These same organizations joined me in Feb. 2012 to launch  the center’s efforts to address various industries’ cybersecurity challenges and to accelerate the adoption of technologies that are based on standards and best practices. Since that time, the center has been bringing together experts from industry, government and academia to demonstrate integrated cybersecurity that is cost-effective, repeatable and scalable.
Eighteen IT industry leaders  have joined our efforts through the National Cybersecurity Partnership  initiative. Additional companies—both large and small—have worked with us on specific projects focused on health IT, energy, and financial services, with more to come, including efforts to support the recently released Framework for Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity .
The agreement signed by NIST, Maryland and Montgomery County provides the center a new home with an expanded footprint, both physical and programmatic, not far from NIST’s Gaithersburg, Md., campus. It encourages technology transfer of government-developed technologies to companies for licensing and from one government agency to another. This collaboration also will help the state and county departments of economic development support new security technology companies and products, as well as to identify future workforce needs and provide opportunities for high school, college and graduate students.
The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence is focused on and driven by the practical cybersecurity needs of American businesses. Together with our public and private partners, we can have a positive impact on our nation’s cybersecurity and economy.