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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Cybersecurity executives and government officials are forming a roundtable group aimed at boosting Maryland’s efforts to become a center for the growing field.

The Washington Post reports that the group is set to meet for the first time later this month.

Secretary of Business and Economic Development Dominick Murray says the state’s Federal Facilities Advisory Board recommended the group and he welcomes the idea. He sees it as a way to bring together private companies, academic institutions and government groups. Murray would like the group to consider ways to help Maryland university graduates stay in the state.

“If we have that kind of cross-section, then we’d be able to provide that forum (in which) challenges can be addressed, opportunities could be expressed,” he said. Murray said the group will help “develop and incubate this industry so that we can, in fact, be the cyber center of excellence here in this state.”

Maryland is home to both the National Security Agency and the military’s U.S. Cyber Command and state officials have tried to take advantage of the opportunity. In 2010, Gov. Martin O’Malley a CyberMaryland initiative to coordinate state marketing to raise its cybersecurity profile.

Former NSA executives and representatives of businesses in the state have been tapped to help the state develop the group, including  Leonard E. Moodispaw, chief executive of Hanover-based cybersecurity company KEYW. He said he is eager to get the group off the ground and  wants the roundtable to help state universities tailor training and figure out ways to help startups more.

“I really believe in the story that Maryland has the heart of cyber-technology,” Moodispaw said.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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