From preventing network hacks to stopping national attacks, cybersecurity is a burgeoning technology sector that is becoming increasingly important in our digitally-connected world, and Colorado Springs is leading the way in industry innovation and expertise.
With major companies and a strong military presence, as well as pioneering institutions and a skilled workforce, the industry assets in Colorado Springs create the perfect storm for a cybersecurity cluster that’s second to none.
According to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers, the city “has what it takes to become the cybersecurity capital of the nation.” Here’s why:
1. Colorado Springs boasts both quality and quantity of major cybersecurity firms. With more than 80 cybersecurity companies, Colorado Springs is home to offices of some of the biggest names in the industry, including Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing. These trusted corporations have not only led the fight against cybercrime nationally, but they have helped to build Colorado Springs’ reputation as one of the top 10 cities in the nation for companies involved in cybersecurity.
2. Industry startups are flourishing. In order to communicate with Washington, D.C. during the Cold War, Colorado Springs became the first city to use Internet communication in the late 1960s. That legacy of the city as a technological pioneer has endured to today, and not just with major national firms. Colorado Springs is home to root9B, a startup that tops Cybersecurity Ventures’ list of the 500 most innovative cyber companies in the world. Other young, small firms like Imprimis (started in 2004) and Boecore (2000) have also found success in the Springs, further bolstering the city’s reputation as a place where cybersecurity companies both large and small can thrive
3. The city is a magnet for the most talented people in the industry. Home to four colleges and universities that are National Security Agency (NSA)-certified for their high-level cyber programs, Colorado Springs provides ready-made training grounds for the next generation of computer security wizards. Colorado Technical University ranks among the best cybersecurity programs in the nation, and the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Cyberworx program links some of the school’s brightest cadets with tech industry professionals to create a national hub for computer security. For job-seekers, the average local wage for an industry position ($118,000) is highly competitive and attracts top talent to the region.
4. The National Cybersecurity Center calls Colorado Springs home. Founded in 2016, the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) operates in partnership with local higher education, military and private companies to promote research, education and innovation in the industry. The NCC was made possible by the Colorado Cybersecurity Initiative bill, which was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper last May. Colorado Springs was a clear choice for the location of the center due to the huge presence of cybersecurity infrastructure in the area.
5. The city’s strong aerospace and defense sectors work hand-in-hand with the cybersecurity industry. With more than 240 aerospace and defense companies, five military installations and numerous national command centers, Colorado Springs is a hotbed for cutting-edge technology in the defense industry. As such, the city has made the leap to addressing the mounting threats that our government can’t often see—cyber threats. In today’s digital age, cybersecurity is just as important to national defense as traditional military operations, and Colorado Springs is a natural fit for this rapidly-growing industry.