Fairfax County, Virginia: a Hub for Cybersecurity Innovation By Asher Kotz, Manager, Cybersecurity Business Development, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority
When a company uses enough data to warrant leasing space at a colocation data center, the protection of that data is always a top priority. Damage from a cyber breach can include costly operational disruption, financial loss, compromised data and a sullied brand. As governments and businesses have overwhelmingly moved to the reliability of cloud-based platforms, there is critical demand to ensure a healthy and resilient cyber ecosystem. There are also significant resources being dedicated to cybersecurity; in fact, the U.S. federal government expects to spend $12 billion on cybersecurity measures in fiscal year 2020.
Fairfax County, Virginia, the business corridor of the Washington, D.C., area, has become an international hub for companies at the tip of the spear for cybersecurity innovation. Comprised of more than 500 large and small companies, Fairfax County’s cybersecurity ecosystem capitalizes on the local nexus of cyber-workforce expertise and national security assets. This ecosystem includes cyber-related companies in Fairfax from India, the U.K., Israel, Germany, France, Australia and Canada as well as the U.S.
Home to federal agencies, universities, industry associations and more than 8,800 technology firms, Fairfax County boasts a highly skilled technology workforce of more than 140,000 people. Businesses located here have the ability to develop and scale operations via access to key area resources including university research, venture-capital firms, business accelerators and specialized training programs offered through the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA). As a result, 22 of the 25 top cybersecurity companies in the Washington region have located in Fairfax County.
“Fairfax County was an ideal place to start and grow a cyber business because it is close to our customers,” said Tom Deierlein, CEO of ThunderCat Technologies, which is based in the Reston area of Fairfax County, close to Washington Dulles International Airport. “It has access to a talented pool of employees and is near universities and other research facilities that generate next-gen cyber tools.”