The state and a cybersecurity company have signed an agreement to locate a center at Bossier Parish Community College for cybersecurity training.
The training also will include credential coursework and conducting field exercises on a virtual cyber range for in-person trainees and online participants from across the state and world, officials said.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Cybint Solutions Inc. Chief Operations Officer Bryan Dickens, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Bossier Parish Community College Chancellor Rick Bateman.
Edwards said the partnership resulted from an October economic development mission to Israel. Cybint is based in New York but has its roots in cyber solutions developed by Israeli Defense Forces veterans and industry professionals, and discussions about the center took place in Israel.
Edwards said the Cybint center is another cybersecurity asset for northwest Louisiana and the state. He pointed to the creation a decade ago of the Cyber Innovation Center as an anchor of a 3,000-acre National Cyber Research Park in Bossier City, now employing 800 cybersecurity professionals. There also is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics building serving students and veterans, and shared by Bossier Parish Community College and Louisiana Tech University. Nearby is the Global Strike Command of Barksdale Air Force Base, which could be a key beneficiary of the training.
“This partnership between BPCC and Cybint Solutions should be considered more than just cyber education,” said Craig Spohn, president of the Cyber Innovation Center ans also chairman of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission created by Edwards in 2017. “It should be considered an asset that can contribute to next-generation warfighting. Almost every military action is going to include a cyber element in the future. Assets like this partnership will help us benchmark where we need to go, and we can then create the environments we need from a software and visualization standpoint.”
The partnership led by BPCC and Cybint also could provide training for manufacturers and other industries seeking to protect their production from cyber threats.
The announcement coincides with a National Governors Association National Summit on State Cybersecurity being attended by 350 delegates in Shreveport.