At today’s second annual Massachusetts Cybersecurity Forum, Governor Charlie Baker and the Baker-Polito Administration made several exciting announcements, including naming U.S. Navy Captain Stephanie A. Helm as the first director of the MassCyberCenter, and the members of the Massachusetts Cybersecurity Strategy Council. Chaired by Michael Brown, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (retired), the Council includes 19 cybersecurity leaders from both the public and private sector. I am honored to be included in this esteemed group.
Massachusetts continues to be on the leading edge of technology innovation. It’s home to many accelerators and leading educational institutions and is a thriving hub for cybersecurity innovators like CYBRIC. In addition to growing CYBRIC and helping organizations understand and proactively remediate their application security risk, I have been committed to supporting cybersecurity education programs and workforce development to help ensure Massachusetts employers overcome the existing talent gap.
According to Governor Baker, the Cybersecurity Strategy Council has been created “to ensure the state serves as a valuable partner with businesses, colleges and universities, and the public sector to grow Massachusetts’ cybersecurity industry and continue developing a talented workforce” and “will assist the MassCyberCenter on ways to spur economic growth and cyber-resilience in the Commonwealth’s cybersecurity ecosystem.”
The MassCyberCenter’s and Council’s objectives dovetail well with our CYBRIC mission to give organizations visibility into and assurance of their application security risk. The megatrends of Digital Transformation and Cloud Migration have fueled the “Application Economy” as software is now being incorporated into all lines of business. This new economy is driving rapid innovation to stay ahead of the competition. Application development teams are being pushed to release software updates at a much higher velocity, resulting in security either being a barrier to deployment, or dealt with via manual processes and controls well after deployment.
The result, both here and globally, is that organizations risk exposing themselves and their customers or constituents to vulnerabilities from today’s 24/7 threat actors. Instead of accelerating innovation, this can stall it. This Massachusetts initiative ultimately underscores our strong focus on innovation by making our public and private institutions more resilient to cyber attacks, and leveraging security to fuel innovation.