Arkansas: Center of Cyber & Data
Arkansas is home to numerous national and global companies (operators of critical infrastructure), specifically in the Electric Grid, Financial Services and Food/Logistics sectors. Strong leadership within the state has led to Arkansas becoming a focal point for Computer Science, Data Science and Cybersecurity talent. Numerous initiatives exist to push Arkansas forward, making it a state prime to support innovative new concepts and collaborations. Some key initiatives relevant to the ACA, include: (1) AR Governor’s Computer Science Initiative requiring every high school to teach computer science, (2) Arkansas Center for Data Science which is advancing the education and resource opportunities for businesses and citizens in Arkansas, (3) the Arkansas Legislature which among several bills passed the Governor’s Accelerator Bill providing a financial state-match to private sector innovation initiatives within the state, and (4) strong academic centers, including: University of Arkansas Little Rock Emerging Analytics Center (NSA/DHS COE), DoE Cybersecurity Center on Secure Evolvable Energy Delivery Systems (SEEDS) (a multi-university center headquartered at the University of Arkansas), and UCA Cyber Range. Finally, Gov. Hutchinson is Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Governors and National Governors Association (NGA) Cybersecurity Committee.
In addition, the USAF 189 OG DET 1 Air Force Air Combat Command Cyber Mission and the Arkansas Air National Guard “Cyber Arkansas“ unit has been stood up to train for Cyber Mission Force (CMF) AFSPC/AF 1B4. The Cyber Education Program operates in a 10,000 SQ FT TS/SCI SCIF and will train hundreds of students for the Department of Defense this year in CMF, Digital Forensics, ICS/SCADA and Vulnerability Assessments.
Arkansas Cyber Initiative (ACI)
Arkansas ACT 1085 authorizes the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to support a cyber initiative (Arkansas Cyber Initiative) to reduce cyber threats in Arkansas.