Ellen Hemmerly, bwtech@UMBC, and Kent Malwitz, UMBC Training Centers, in the Baltimore Business Journal

Ellen Hemmerly and Kent Malwitz were quoted in the September 7, Baltimore Business Journal in an article written by Jack Lambert, Cyber security attracts attention (and cash) from venture capitalists.

Lambert writes, “Cyber security is big business in Maryland. The state’s proximity to federal agencies in Washington, D.C., as well as nearby government contractors such as Northrop Grumman Corp. and Lockheed Martin Corp., has led to significant government investment in companies that can protect confidential data.”

Lambert goes on to write about his conversation with Hemmerly and Malwitz,

“The commercialization of cyber security products helped encourage investment, said Ellen Hemmerly, executive director of the UMBC bwtech Research and Technology Park. Companies developing new products for mobile devices like tablets and smartphones need to be protected, she said. And venture firms want to get in on the ground floor.

“We are seeing more and more folks trying to create a way to solve those cyber security issues,” Hemmerly said. “[Venture capital] money is agnostic. They are going to look where there is the business opportunities.”

Students and startups are taking advantage of those opportunities. Twenty-two cyber security companies are part of UMBC’S incubator and accelerator program in 2012, whereas only six companies were in the program when it began in March 2011.

Colleges and universities are seeing increased cyber security interest at the undergraduate level as well. UMBC taught 84 cyber security courses in 2011 compared to 70 courses in 2010, said Kent E. Malwitz, president of the UMBC training centers. The University of Maryland’s Cybersecurity Center has seen double the number of computer science and computer engineering majors over the last five to seven years, said Eric Chapman, the program’s deputy director.”