LA JOLLA (CNS) - The cyber security business in the San Diego region employs about 3,500 workers in 100 companies and could grow significantly in the near future, according to a report released Thursday.
Firms such as the anti-virus software maker ESET and the government contractor Sentek Global, which supplies the military with information technology services, have teamed up with the San Diego Regional Economic
Development Corp. to lay the groundwork for making San Diego a cyber security hub.
Already, the regional cyber security business -- including the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare System Command Center, which has about 3,000 personnel -- has an economic impact estimated at $1.5 billion per year, according to a report released by the EDC Thursday.
The report found that the private sector cyber security business had a total economic impact of $809.5 million, and that military spending contributed an additional $705.8 million. The figures include direct impact, like payroll and contracts, and indirect as the money filters into the economy.
With the Department of Defense proposing to spend $23 billion on fighting cyber crime over the next five years, much of that money could come here, according to the report.
In response, the launch of a public-private partnership called the Cyber Center of Excellence was announced. The center will connect cyber-related companies with military leaders and academic partners to pursue a common strategy to promote the region's cyber strengths.
"Cyber can be San Diego's next big jobs generator," said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the EDC. "Like biotech was 30 years ago, cyber has the potential to be a driving force for growth in both our innovation and military economies."
While total employment in the San Diego region is expected to grow by 2.2 percent this year, cyber security jobs could jump 13 percent, according to the report.
Cyber security has emerged as a national priority as global retailers, medical providers, and critical infrastructure fall prey to significant data breaches and theft, according to the report.
In a recent, high-profile data breach, Target reported that 40 million credit and debit card accounts were compromised between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, and that hackers stole names, phone numbers, and email and mailing addresses from as many as 70 million customers.
The loss not only impacted the individual customers but tarnished the chain's image. The company reported U.S. sales declined 6.6 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
Five nurses from Scripps Health, who are part of a medical response team, are traveling to Northern California to care for the people affected by the Camp Fire.
A transient accused of repeatedly burglarizing the office of a South Bay community group before torching the premises last week pleaded not guilty Thursday to a slew of charges including arson of a structure, grand theft and burglary.
A 52-year-old professional photographer was arrested this week on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl during a modeling session in Carlsbad, authorities reported Thursday.
A man who pushed a 93-year-old woman through a screen door and onto a concrete deck in Oceanside -- leading to her death 11 days later -- was convicted Thursday of second-degree murder and elder abuse causing great bodily injury.
Fire crews hoped to capitalize on diminishing winds Thursday as they worked to expand containment lines around the deadly Woolsey Fire, while more residents were allowed to return to their homes and a firefighter was recovering in a hospital after being struck by a car.
Confirmed flu cases in San Diego County are well behind the rate of confirmed cases during last year's flu season, according to county health officials.
A 92-year-old man was arrested Thursday on suspicion of fatally shooting his 51-year-old son inside their Old Town home.
Cool weather helped fire crews gain ground Thursday against the nation's deadliest wildfire in a century, as the search went on for more bodies. At least 56 people were killed and 300 were unaccounted for a week after the flames swept through.