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Cyber Security on the Rise in Maryland

The world of Cyber Security is proving to be good business in Maryland.

State officials say there are a growing number of companies specializing in the development of security tools and technology. And that's creating jobs throughout the state.

"If we drill down to cyber security, it's around 60 to 70,000 jobs in that area, and probably our fastest growing area," says Christian Johansson, Secretary of Business and Economic Development.

Cyber security requires a very specific set of knowledge and skills and employers have found it very difficult to staff these positions.

"We have two full- time recruiters, and we're planning on increasing that effort. So that is our umber one challenge," said Ken Zatyco, the Vice Presided of Maryland Operations for Assured Information Security. Zatyco sayss they have recently expanded their company and have more recruiters working to fill the open positions.

Just last year, the University of Maryland opened its new Cyber Security Center to properly train students for the field of cyber security. At the Center, students and staff work get hands-on experience by developing systems to protect the university's campus from hackers.

Dr. Charles Iheagwara, Chief Marketing Officer and Director of Cyber Security Practices at Unatek based in Prince George's County, is facing an additional problem with his small business. Dr. Iheagwara recently testified before the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Enterpreneurship to propose legislation that mandates a certain percentage of all federal and state Cyber security contracts as set aside for small businesses.

"If we want new jobs created, small businesses must be formed and supported," says Dr. Iheagwara.

Over the next few months, Iheagwara says the Senate Committee will be working with Unatek and other small businesses to see how they can make use of their suggestions.