Massachusetts is well positioned to play a global leadership role in the cybersecurity sector, which is the fastest growing tech sector in the world and is expected to become a $170 billion dollar annual global market by 2020, according to Gartner.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts provides innovative, collaborative support to cybersecurity initiatives, which aims to help our Mass. cyber startups grow, engage new markets, and support R&D across the state. These efforts look to build on our existing strengths:
- An unparalleled concentration of talent, workforce, R&D centers, universities, and leading companies;
- A world-class cybersecurity ecosystem with sector leadership in healthcare, financial services, defense, manufacturing, life sciences; and
- Engaged state leaders who supporting forward-thinking policies and programs.
Building on Global, Industry Ties
The cybersecurity sector in Massachusetts has several other characteristics which set it apart, including strong ties to Israel's world-class cybersecurity sector, a relationship which has led numerous Israeli companies to establish a headquarters or R&D lab in the Commonwealth. In 2016, IBM established its global security headquarters and the first commercial ‘Cyber Range’ in Cambridge.
Massachusetts is also home to the Advanced Cyber Security Center, a non-profit which brings together industry, university, and government organizations to address the most advanced cyber threats, with a focus on information sharing cyber threat information, R&D, and education programs.
Investing in Talent, R&D, and Testing Infrastructure
To address workforce challenges in the cybersecurity arena, in 2016 MassTech made a $5 million dollar award to UMass-Amherst to develop new cybersecurity systems to protect information networks and expand data science expertise in the state. MassTech's award was matched by $15 million in support from the MassMutual Foundation in Springfield, and counts Amazon, Burning Glass, Oracle, and Thomson-Reuters as project partners, highlighting the public-private partnership involved in the project. This investment in computing infrastructure will help support the development of new research and education activities at the Cybersecurity Institute at UMass-Amherst, and will complement other cyber-focused efforts in Western Massachusetts including strong academic programs at Smith and Mt. Holyoke colleges and the Massachusetts Green High-Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC), a public data center located in the City of Holyoke.
In 2017, MassTech also awarded $5 million for the launch of PracticePoint at WPI, a new facility in Worcester which will drive the creation of new labs and integrated research focused on the commercialization of secure healthcare devices and systems.
Key Stats on the Mass. Cybersecurity Sector
- Massachusetts is home to 37 of the top firms on the Cybersecurity 500 list, second most of any region in the world, behind only California;
- 70 security products & services startups;
- Between 2010-2015, $1.25 billion was raised by 25 of the top firms in Massachusetts;
- Strong research centers dominate the Mass. landscape, including:
- 15 dedicated Security Research Centers housed at Mass. universities;
- 30 cybersecurity degree programs at 18 universities, colleges and community colleges; and
- 4 NSA Centers of Academic Excellence.