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NIST Establishes National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence

According to a recent industry study, cyber crimes cost the global economy $388 billion annually in both direct financial losses and the value of lost time dealing with the effects of cyber crime. The study found that about 431 million adults are victims of cyber crime each year.

Another recent study found that annual cyber crime costs for larger U.S. companies averaged about $5.9 million each with a 44 percent increase in the number of successful cyber attacks compared to the previous year.

To help organizations better protect themselves from such threats, the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today announced a new partnership to establish the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.  The Center will operate as a public-private collaboration for accelerating the widespread adoption of integrated cybersecurity tools and technologies. The State of Maryland and Montgomery County, Md., are co-sponsoring the Center with NIST, which will work to strengthen U.S. economic growth by supporting automated and trustworthy e-government and e-commerce.

U.S. Senator for Maryland Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony Brown and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett were at NIST in Gaithersburg, Md., today to announce the partnership with Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher.

“Cyber crime hurts individuals, businesses, and government agencies. We want to bring together the best minds and provide them with the best tools to create and test solutions that will make online transactions of all kinds safer,” said Gallagher. “We’re pleased to have the support of our Maryland partners, and look forward to working with additional partners from industry, academia, non-profit and government sectors.”

NIST’s fiscal year 2012 appropriations provided $10 million to establish the public-private partnership to operate the center. It will include a state-of-the-art computing facility near NIST’s headquarters campus, where researchers from NIST will work with both the users and vendors of cybersecurity products and services. The center will host multi-institutional, collaborative efforts that build on expertise from industry and government.

Examples of potential collaborative projects at the Center may include development of interoperable cybersecurity templates to address challenges in health IT, cloud and mobile computing, cryptography, or continuous monitoring of IT systems.

By accelerating dissemination and use of integrated tools and technologies, the Center expects to improve trust and lower risk for organizations that use complex IT systems, while encouraging development of innovative, job-creating cybersecurity products and services. Release

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The center is being

The center is being co-sponsored by NIST, the state of Maryland and Montgomery County, Md. According to an announcement, the goal is to develop interoperable cybersecurity approaches for challenges facing organizations, including interoperable templates to address problems in health IT, cloud computing, mobile computing, cryptography and other areas.

33,595 complaints in Florida during 2011

Also, the Consumer Sentinel Network reports that Florida has the highest percentage of identity theft complaints of any state. That statistic was a part of their recently-released study on the topic of fraud and identity theft.
There were 33,595 complaints in Florida during 2011, the study showed. That worked out to 178.7 complaints per 100,000 people, the highest such figure in the country. Georgia, California, Arizona and Texas round out the top five.
Among large metropolitan areas, Miami had the highest number of complaints about identity theft (324.1 per 100,000 people).
The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region finished seventh on the list (156.2 complaints per 100,000 people) while Orlando ranked 12th (147.1 complaints per 100,000 people). In light of this, many folks are now looking at credit monitoring services to protect themselves online.