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Cybersecurity Experts Meet in Rhode Island to Discuss Innovation, Workforce Development and Job Creation

Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor, members of the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission and defense and economic development experts, convened today at Salve Regina for a conversation on the evolving cyber threat and Rhode Island's commitment to investing in cyber resiliency, innovation, and research and development. The Summit served as the official launch of the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission's second report on economic development due December 1, 2015.

"As Governor, it is my job to innovate in government to make Rhode Island a place where companies want to do business," said Raimondo. "The defense sector is a huge economic driver for our state, and it's clear we have an opportunity to strengthen this industry by building on our already existing strong cybersecurity assets. I thank the Cybersecurity Commission for their hard work with the first report which provided an assessment of the state's cybersecurity infrastructure and recommended ways to enhance the resiliency of government operations within all executive branch agencies. As they begin to focus on workforce development for their second report, I ask them to consider how we can creatively transform cybersecurity to create more good-paying, family-supporting jobs."

"Through the Commission's work, Rhode Island is effectively positioning itself to capitalize on the state's unique concentration of cyber expertise," said Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor and member of the Cybersecurity Commission. "As the cyber industry continues to grow, Rhode Island must be proactive and build a stronger economic cluster around our defense, technology and higher education assets. Together, we can bring jobs to Rhode Island and help support our state's come back."

"Threats against our cyber infrastructure continue to grow in size, scope and sophistication," said Scott DePasquale, Chairman of the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission and CEO of Utilidata. "Thanks to Governor Raimondo's leadership, the state of Rhode Island is taking a proactive approach to secure our citizens and grow our cybersecurity industry. As the CEO of a Rhode Island-based software company, I see great opportunities to leverage the state's expertise in defense, the private sector and academia to attract members of a growing cyber defense industry to Rhode Island. We have a significant opportunity to stimulate the state's economy and play a leading role in this national security initiative."

Participants heard from experts in security and economic development, including the former cybersecurity advisor to two Presidential administrations, the Managing Partner of Liberty Group Ventures, the Senior Vice President and Chief Security and Trust Officer at CISCO, the Federal Chief Technology Officer at FireEye, and the Chief Technology Officer, Cybersecurity and Special Missions at Raytheon. Speakers presented an overview of the quickly evolving cybersecurity industry and how to cultivate an ecosystem of cyber-strategic leaders, public-private partnerships, and research and development.

Following the Summit, the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission will hold its fourth public meeting. The Commission meeting will be held at 2:00 pm at Salve Regina's Pell Center located at 518 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI.

In May 2015, Governor Raimondo signed Executive Order 15-10 establishing Rhode Island's first Cybersecurity Commission. The Governor tasked the Commission with submitting two action plans. The first plan, delivered October 1, 2015, provided an assessment of the state's cybersecurity infrastructure and activities within all executive branch agencies and recommended ways to enhance the resiliency of government operations. The second plan, due December 1, 2015, will focus on supporting economic growth of the cybersecurity sector and workforce.

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