Cybersecurity & Software
A Hub for Technological Innovation
Projections that the space economy will reach $1 trillion by 2040, making space-based assets more susceptible to attacks, call for the strengthening of cybersecurity systems to respond to vulnerabilities in a timely fashion. Colorado Springs’ cybersecurity companies are equipped to protect businesses and defend space-based assets against adversaries. Space ISAC (Space Information Sharing and Analysis Center) is among the city’s 360-plus companies that help businesses protect their Intellectual Property and operate in a secure environment. The city has some of the most sophisticated communications networks in the country.
Accelerating Growth in Cybersecurity Employment & Intellectual Property
Colorado Springs is emerging as one of the national leaders in cybersecurity commerce, employment, and innovation. In 2022, the Cybersecurity & Technology sector in Colorado Springs generated $4.6 billion in the economy and is projected to grow by 15% between 2022 and 2027. The cybersecurity economy represents a 4% industry share of the total GDP of the region’s economy and 1.9% of the Gross National Product. The industry has had an upward growth of 5.5% in the last 10 years.
The city’s unique hub for Information Technology companies, higher education, and national defense, has created a thriving environment for the cybersecurity industry to flourish, benefiting jobseekers, entrepreneurs, and established companies. Compared to the national and state average, the city offers lower labor costs giving it an edge over cities of similar size across the nation. Colorado Springs has a higher concentration of cybersecurity openings than larger regions like Denver.
Colorado Springs has more than 28,000 employees that support companies in the Cybersecurity sector. The city has a large presence of U.S. military bases and a robust military community and postsecondary institutions which provide a quality talent pipeline for future employment and growth. The city’s strong military veteran community is a great asset to the industry. Service members transitioning from the military come equipped with diverse knowledge and skills and security clearances which are essential in filling high-level positions in Information Technology and Cybersecurity.
An Epicenter for Tech Knowledge and Capabilities
Tech-fueled talent, best-in-class electric reliability, and low seismic activity provide a triad of benefits to data centers and IT businesses in Colorado Springs.
Leading the pack are in-house software development and systems engineering operations – FedEx, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Oracle among them. Products include software for e-business, inventory control systems, telecommunications, and aerospace and defense systems, to name some.
Before moving on as the CEO of the National Cybersecurity Center, Cherwell’s founder helped secure $247 million in venture capital for the firm from KKR and Insight Venture Partners. In 2017, Tek Experts tripled its software development and support workforce to make Colorado Springs its main center of U.S. operations.
In 2021, Quantum Metric was announced as Colorado Springs’ first unicorn, gaining both $200 million in VC and a $1 billion valuation. A SaaS platform that helps organizations build better digital products faster, Quantum Metric intends to keep its HQ in the Pikes Peak region.
Ranked a top city for data centers, Colorado Springs is home to storage sites for FedEx, Progressive Insurance, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Walmart.
Software solutions giant SAP established two Colorado Springs data centers in recent years. In interviews, SAP said it chose Colorado Springs for the city’s efficient power source, favorable climate, and availability of a quality workforce.
Because of a unique density of defense installations (five total), Colorado Springs is home to one of the most sophisticated communications networks in the nation. This type of capacity and reliability is a boon to all tech and cyber firms, especially ones that require state-of-the-art communications capabilities.
Upping the advantages, electric service reliability consistently checks in at 99.99% or greater and is provided by municipally-owned Colorado Springs Utilities, which reports to local elected officials, not a state Public Utilities Commission.
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Proactive and Solution-Oriented
Colorado Springs, home to 150-plus cybersecurity companies, is rapidly becoming a national leader in cybersecurity commerce, employment, and innovation.
The city’s unique position as a diverse hub for IT companies, higher education, and national defense has created a thriving environment for the cybersecurity industry. Perks of that progress go to job seekers, entrepreneurs, and established companies.
A main draw for companies like L3Harris, Lockheed Martin, and Parsons is talent. Five Colorado Springs colleges, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, are certified as Centers of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency. In addition, work-ready programs like Secure Set Academy are producing new talent at an accelerated pace.
Currently, 3,000-plus professionals are employed in the Colorado Springs cybersecurity industry, with 7,000-plus open positions forecasted through 2024. To help fill those opportunities, the Chamber & EDC is working with federal agencies and partners to streamline and/or fast track the security credentials process.
While companies like The Aerospace Corp. and Northrup Grumman have Colorado Springs HQ’s, R9B is a local to global success story. Founded in 2011, the firm leveraged its tech and military backgrounds to eventually rank as one of the top 150 cybersecurity companies in the world. R9B was acquired by Deloitte in 2021.
Colorado Springs is also home to the National Cybersecurity Center, which serves both public and private organizations and individuals through training, education, and research. Most recently, it became the site of the national Space ISAC and, in support of initiatives to secure online voting, launched a partnership with Tusk Philanthropies to pilot electronic ballot return technologies.
Learn more at the Colorado Springs Cybersecurity website.
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A Destination for Diverse Talent
Supporting Colorado Springs’ always growing technology and cybersecurity ecosystem is one of the most educated workforces in the U.S.
In 2020, CompTIA ranked the city #15 among the best cities for IT professionals to live and work. The study pointed to a large STEM workforce and entrepreneurial infrastructure. LinkedIn also weighed in on Colorado Springs talent, slipping local professionals into the #1 spot in its Most Confident Workforce in the Nation Index.
Employers like Oracle, Cisco, and TEKSystems hire from a diverse pool loaded with expertise. Among them, locally produced graduates, departing military personnel and veterans, and professionals attracted to Colorado Springs for opportunities and appealing quality of life. Tech annual salaries in Colorado Springs come in slightly greater than the national average.
Five Colorado Springs colleges, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, are certified as Centers of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency.
The University of Colorado Colorado Springs continues its tech legacy, which began in the 1960’s when it was established by HP Founder David Packard to develop computer engineers. Today, it is Cisco’s only cybersecurity SRA with a university. The partners recently announced a one-of-a-kind cybersecurity workforce development center.