Archives For October 2011

by Chris Palmer, Ilse Raven, Diane Mallare, Megan Ward

Years ago, businesses only had to worry about things like natural disasters when assessing risk. But with today’s rapid growth in technology, businesses now have to consider computer security as a type of risk as well. A large retail chain that has an online presence as well as bricks and mortar stores, for example, needs to consider what measures to put in place so that its customers’ credit card information is not compromised since the store deals with thousands of transactions per day. And cmdLabs, based in Baltimore, MD, a cybersecurity company specializing digital forensics and computer security helps companies manage this.

The company was founded by Chris Daywalt, Eoghan Casey, and Terrance Maguire in January 2009. The idea to start the company was formed after they realized there was a business opportunity within the industry and the need to provide an unmatched level of consistency and service.

Digital forensics deals with computer systems and digital media, such as cell phones, while computer security “protects the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data” explains Daywalt. This concept is key since it overlaps with risk management for businesses. There is a cycle in trying to manage risk, Daywalt explains. In assessing a company’s risk, they must first ask,”What do I have that’s valuable?” “Who might want it?” “What are the chances they might come after it?” and “What current measures do I currently have in place to protect it?”

If one finds that these current practices are not at an acceptable level, Daywalt said, he should take the necessary measures to get it there, such as installing anti-virus software or firewalls. The third step is to monitor the environment and make sure that nothing bad is occurring. If an event is uncovered, one should investigate and respond in order to fix the problem. That’s where cmdLabs come in. When a business is involved with an unfortunate event, such as a large retailer’s computer security being hacked, cmdLabs investigates and responds, so that they can help to secure their clients’ businesses.

Eoghan Casey has written several books about this area of study, including The Handbook of Digital Forensics and Investigation and Digital Evidence and Computer Crime, 3rd Edition. Casey has been working with digital forensics since it was created about twelve years ago, giving cmdLabs a major advantage in this field.

What makes cmdLabs unique is not only the fact that they have been working with digital forensics since its inception, but with all of today’s advancements in technology, they still remain somewhat traditional by keeping hard copies of their books on hand.

Daywalt explained that not only do people like to have a physical book in their hands to reference, but in some cases, they are unable to get online to reference materials when working on a job.

“If a computer is being investigated, it is at risk for exposure to spyware and viruses. This leads to a lack of security for the data in question so cmdLabs believes it is best to keep hard copies for this purpose,” Daywalt said.

Since its founding two years ago, the company has grown to 9.  Some of their major clients include the U.S. Department of Defense and the State Department.

by Christine Hansen

Emory Knoll Farms sits on 140 acres of lush greenery in Harford County.

When Emory Knoll Farms was founded, the company’s goal was always centered around sustainability.  So when Maryland became the first state to create a benefit corporation designation, it made sense for Emory Knoll Farms to apply.

Emory Knoll Farms began as a nursery operation in 1998 after Ed Snodgrass began growing perennials and container gardens and selling them at local farmer’s markets.  It was his visits with other nursery owners where he learned about green roofing.  After doing research, he discovered that no nurseries in the region specialized in the growing of green roof plants and decided to fill the niche.  In 2003, he touched base with John Shepley, an old friend and colleague who was interested in starting a sustainable business.

The business, Emory Knoll Farms, Inc., also known as Green Roof Plants, was officially formed in 2004 and has been growing green roof plants for the North American region ever since.

“Water has become one of our most important natural resources. Clean, drinkable, usable water has become rare in a lot of parts of the world with population growth and the increasing demand on all of our resources,” Shepley said.  “One of the biggest public health benefits of green roofing is that they help mitigate storm water runoff, which creates erosion. It helps eliminate an enormous amount of pollutants. The plants retain the pollutants and the plants use it as food. It helps preserve the bay and our environment. And they help green our cities.”

The company is responsible for a number of projects in Maryland, including the Montgomery Park building, the Barbara Mikulski Center at the Living Classrooms Foundation, the National Aquarium, and several universities.  The company has also done a number of projects across the U.S. including a chiropractic office in Pennsylvania, and the National Audio Visual Conservation Center of the Library of Congress.  Shepley, vice president and co-owner of the company, oversees many of the day-to-day activities of the farm, including finding ways to stay innovative and remain competitive.

The Barbara Mikulski center of the Living Classrooms Foundation has a green roof by Emory Knoll Farms.

“Our biggest competitor is a large wholesale nursery out in the Pacific Northwest.  For them, the green roof business is a small part of their operation, but they have hundreds of thousands of acres of plants that can be sold for the green roofing business,” Shepley said.

In order to have more of a national reach and to even out the competition, the company has partnered with some of the best of the nurseries across the country.

“It’s not always sustainable for us to deliver plants to California or Kansas City, for example, so we have a partner that we work with in the Midwest, and he grows the plants to our standards and ships them directly to our customers in that region.  It’s a win-win,” Shepley said.

Emory has also continued to innovate with their products in the size of the plants they grow and the potting mix that they use. The potting mix is made up of 100% reclaimed materials, such as by-products of the rice industry and the coconut industry.  The farm is powered by wind and solar energy, and waste vegetable oil is used to heat the farm’s offices and greenhouses.  The farm also believes in reusing materials.  Old bath tubs, toilets, and other miscellaneous items can be seen throughout the grounds as potting containers.

Emory Knoll reuses old materials, such as a bathtub, to pot plants in their nursery.

This attention to detail and to preserving the environment extends throughout the 140 acres of lush greenery, and within Shepley’s own belief system.  When Snodgrass and Shepley founded Emory Knoll Farms, sustainability was always at the forefront of their minds – not only for the environmental impact, for the social impact as well.

“When we founded this company, we included sustainability in our plans – not only environmental and ecological, but also prosperity – the three legs of the stool that makes up sustainability,” Shepley said.

The company’s website explains their company philosophy:  “Rather than focus strictly on financial performance, we look at three different bottom lines: Environmental, Social, and Financial.  Each has its own measures, management practices, and values.  It’s not only important to try to maximize performance in all three areas, but we must also maintain a balance.  We cannot be environmentally responsible to the degree that our business is no longer viable and we put people out of work.  All three areas must work together to maximize the sum of the parts, and they must be in balance in order to do that.”

Emory's greenhouses are heated by waste vegetable oil.

So, a few years later, when Maryland became the first state in the Union to create a new corporate form creating benefit corporations, Shepley and Snodgrass jumped on the opportunity to define their company even further as a sustainable corporation.  The new law can apply to those businesses whose mission is to drive a material, positive impact on society and the environment.

“When I heard about the benefit corporation, we saw it as a way to exhibit leadership in this field,” Shepley said. “The whole benefit corporation movement allows businesses to take steps to become sustainable, but it protects businesses and shows businesses that there are other ways to do business besides looking at the financial bottom line.”

The process, Shepley said, was simple.  Companies already in existence need to amend their Articles of Incorporation, making sure to add the specific language created by the law designating it as a benefit corporation.  New businesses can use the same language when drafting their Articles of Incorporation.  The law does require benefit corporations to make an annual sustainability report – assessed by an independent third-party – publicly available.

Emory Knoll Farms, Inc. was officially designated as a benefit corporation on October 1, 2010.  Today, the company employs 10 people and offers benefits including a healthcare and retirement package.

“I hear the argument a lot, especially in the business community, that a lot of the things we do is not possible – but I think what we do is demonstrable. Anyone can do what we are doing and get the same benefits we get.  Everything we have done in our business in regards to sustainability has improved our profitability,” Shepley said.

by Ari Munk, Bernadette Owen, Andrew Petcoff, Elizabeth Wilkinson, Mark Toran II


The state of our economy and unemployment has been at the forefront of many Americans’ minds. As Congress struggles to agree on a budget, fresh young minds struggle to find the secret to starting a successful career. While many may be tempted by the siren song of large companies and advanced degree programs, there are those who take another approach to career development: entrepreneurship.

John Woodley, President and CEO of Trusted Technologies in Baltimore, Maryland is a visionary leader in cyber technology, who, when faced with the challenges of a down economy took the road less traveled. A former consultant during the dot com era, Woodley is no stranger to the hardships of economic distress. After his client base of 1/2 billion dollar companies began to disappear seemingly overnight, Woodley had to make a difficult decision. The company he worked for at the time was to be merged with another firm. He realized that he would prefer to control his own destiny instead of leaving his future in the hands of others. Thus after careful consideration, Trusted Technologies was born in July of 2003.

Since its inception, Trusted Technologies has been an innovator in the cyber security world. The company offers superior technology services to its client base, from cyber security to data center consolidation, management configuration and help center support. The company also owns and manages a software product dedicated to maritime logistics and security called Trusted Valet.

While there are many components to John’s success, the most important is his dedication to the company’s mission and core values. What truly sets Trusted Technologies apart is how the company runs its business. The company is a team, one group moving toward the same goal—to win, and to win with integrity. According to Woodley, it is imperative for the company to stick to its core values no matter what the price. Woodley believes one of the most important things in business is having the ability to get up and walk away from a deal if it doesn’t feel right. “Not every dollar is a good dollar,” he said.

The location of the business has been an important factor in its growth. Woodley believes having a business in Maryland, especially in consulting and contracting, is an advantage because “you are sitting at the seat of power.” In Maryland, Woodley said, you have access to powerful commercial companies as well as the federal government, right at your door step.

Although the economy is not booming at the moment, Woodley emphasized the importance of staying positive, being proactive, and persevering. When going through tough times, a leader has to look at his plan, look at his people and provide the guidance and direction required to maintain the focus of the business.

To those fresh minds, both young and old, navigating the labyrinth that is our current job market, Woodley has an important piece of advice that we should all remember:

“Once you understand your passion, and you can apply that passion to some kind of revenue generation—that is what you really want to pursue. That’s how you have a great life.”

by Mindie Burgoyne

The Free State has no short supply of ghosts.  It’s no wonder that communities around Maryland have crafted their own ghost walks and tours to introduce visitors to hometown haunts.  Each of these ghost tours is conducted by locals who know their history and have encountered spooky characters.  Check out these ghost tours and see the paranormal up close and personal.

The City of Annapolis offers two ghost tours, with a haunted history of the State's capital. (Photo by Mindie Burgoyne).

Historic Annapolis Ghost Tours

Annapolis is so haunted that it has two ghost tours – a walking tour and a pub crawl.  Your host will be well versed in the haunted history of Maryland’s state capital, but will also share first hand accounts of ghostly encounters.  Stories include Amy the working girl who haunts Rams Head Tavern and Thomas Dance, a construction worker who died while working on the State House dome.  For information on both tours check out http://www.ghostsofannapolis.com.

Fells Point Ghost Walk

This historic part of Baltimore’s waterfront is full of colorful spirits.  This maritime seaport  village has been host to immigrants, sailors, merchants, prostitutes, musicians, writers, artists and more.  The guides will even tell you about ghost sightings that have happened on these popular tours.  There is both a pub crawl and walking tour.  Book early, as they sell out quickly.  http://www.baltimoreghosttours.com/index.html

Candlelight Ghost Tours of Frederick

A 90 minute walking tour of downtown historic Frederick – the town that claims to be the most haunted town in Maryland.  The tour is rich with stories of politicians, defiant citizens, Revolutionary War patriots, actors, artists and numerous undead from the Civil War when Frederick received over 6000 sick and wounded from nearby battlefields.  Their stories of suffering, dying and refusing to be dead are told on by guides in period costumes who lead guest through the dark streets of Frederick.  http://www.marylandghosttours.com/

Spirits of Point Lookout

The landscape of this windblown prison camp on the Chesapeake Bay is littered with ghosts of Confederate soldiers who froze and starved to death during their imprisonment here.  Out of the 50,000 prisoners who were held at the Point Lookout Union Prisoner of War camp, over 4000 died horrible deaths, and their spirits have been the focus of paranormal enthusiasts for years.  Reenactors tell of this and other stories associated with this very haunted site in Maryland.  www.spiritsofpointlookout.com

Ye Haunted History of Olde Ellicott City

This historic town on the Patapsco River has quite a haunted past.  Since its days of being a mill town, there have been many characters who have remained a part of the landscape even “after death.”  What makes this tour unique is the testimony of “first hand” experiences by restauranteurs, merchants and residents about recent paranormal events.  www.VisitHowardCounty.com (also on this website, see Haunted Tour of Savage Mill)

Haunted Tale Candle-Lit Walk – Denton

Experience one of the most haunted towns on the Eastern Shore.  Your guide is a master story-teller who will point out the Denton jail where the ghost of Wish Sheppard who was hung on the courthouse lawn – and whose hand print remained behind on his jail cell wall long after his death – still torments the staff who work in the jail today.  Also hear about the ghost of Annie Bell Carter who fell to her death from a second floor balcony and was impaled on a tree stump and now dances across her lawn.   http://www.tourcaroline.com/

Haunted History and Walking Ghost Tour of Havre de Grace

This is the third year for this fun ghost tour hosted by the Havre de Grace Main Street Community.  This walking tour is composed of historically documented occurrences and first hand accounts of hauntings, murders and paranormal events that happened in the past or are currently happening today.  www.mainstreethdg.org

NOTE:  Advanced reservation is strongly suggested for all of these tours.  Be sure to call ahead and reserve your space as all of these tours sell out quickly.

For a list of more ghost tours in Maryland, see the Maryland is Fun website ghost tour page.   http://www.mdisfun.org/PRESSROOM/Pages/HauntedMaryland.aspx

Mindie Burgoyne works for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.  She is the author of Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake, and also runs the blog www.TravelHag.com.

Sponsored by: Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), Comcast and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

by Laurie M. Boyer, CEcD

As MEDA President, it is my honor (and pleasure) to share an exciting announcement with you. Maryland’s first-ever Economic Development Week will be held from October 24 – 28, 2011. This fantastic event coincides with MEDA’s 50th Anniversary celebration, and it highlights the partnerships that strengthen our competitiveness. As economic development practitioners, we partner with, convene, and link individuals and organizations to elevate Maryland’s competitiveness. The partnerships created—between shopkeepers and economic developers, entrepreneurs and agencies, and everyday citizens committed to growth—cultivate investment in the initiatives throughout our state. Also, become a MEDA member during any Economic Development Week event and receive a $50 discount!

Economic Development Week shines a spotlight on your economic successes! Maryland’s counties, cities and towns are showcasing their accomplishments in fresh new ways, and we invite you to partner with us! Fittingly, our roster of events stretches from east to west and everywhere in between. Some featured events of the week include a Kickoff Economic Development Week Summit, a lunchtime business seminar, a celebration of the new green headquarters for The Breadery, a Regional Manufacturing Institute Summit, and an Economic Development Partners Networking Event. Economic Development Week concludes with the MEDA Fall Conference, featuring Rosie Rios, Treasurer of the United States on Friday, October 28.

MEDA offers professional development courses to further strengthen Maryland's workforce. (Photo courtesy of MEDA).

For additional details about Economic Development Week, click here. To learn more about the MEDA Fall Conference or to register for the event, click here.

Two consecutive weekends each fall, tens of thousands of boating enthusiasts arrive in Annapolis to get up-close looks at their dream vessels and mingle with manufacturers and vendors in the boating industry, and each other. They’ve been coming to the two Annapolis boat expositions – produced by U.S. Yacht Shows – for the past 40 years.

At the U.S. Sailboat Show, Oct. 6-10, enthusiasts strolled through a maze of more than 250 catamarans, yachts and other sailboats secured along temporary floating docks in the colonial seaport. The next weekend, Oct. 13-16, another wave of visitors came into town for the U.S. Powerboat Show, where more than 400 powerboats had taken over the harbor.

The shows also included on-land exhibitors, requiring more than 250 tents to be erected on 600 wooden floor sections – covering in excess of three-quarters of an acre. To supply electrical service to land and water exhibitors, the shows used 60-plus miles of wire through a network of submarine cables and wiring.

Approximately 100,000 visitors come to the shows – people from around the world, says Connie del Signore, president and CEO, Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference and Visitors Bureau. They provide a boost of $35 million for the local economy in direct expenditures. With additional indirect spending, she adds, the overall figure is about $50 million.

The boats shows, she says, have the largest economic impact for the county among annual events there. By comparison, two other major events – Commissioning Week at the U.S. Naval Academy and the Renaissance Festival – inject $11 million and $18 million, respectively, into the economy. Del Signore further notes that of Anne Arundel’s 80 hotels, “nearly all are booked for these two weeks (of the boat shows).”

Susan Zellers, executive director at the Marine Trades Association of Maryland, states that the state has a $2.3 billion boating industry that supports 30,000 jobs. She also reports that 30,000 boats from out of the area – “transient boats” – visit Maryland ports each year, which support another 3,000 Maryland jobs.

Boaters from up and down the East Coast regularly sail into Annapolis, says Gary Jobson, a world-class sailor, TV commentator and author who lives in the town. “While they’re here, they have their boats worked on and they enjoy Annapolis’ hotels and restaurants.”

An America’s Cup winner, Jobson says Annapolis – “America’s Sailing Capital” – offers outstanding year-round sailing. He’s participated in bay sailing, ocean racing and short-course racing in the area. ”It is magic.”

Almost two years have passed since Governor O’Malley unveiled his then nascent “CyberMaryland” strategy to position Maryland at the epicenter for cybersecurity innovation, opportunity and talent.

By Andréa Vernot

To the many designations October has come to represent in the US – Arts & Humanities, Breast Cancer Awareness and Italian-American Heritage  months – we can now add “Cybersecurity Awareness” to the litany of commemorations.  Started in 2004 by Department of Homeland Security in cooperation with the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), this annual awareness event recognizes our globally interconnected world and promotes the technologies, talent and techniques needed to protect the nation’s digital infrastructure.

Here at the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development, the designation also provided our communications shop with the perfect occasion to launch a new advertising campaign and to unveil a national outreach program.  While both are designed to communicate the State’s cybersecurity strengths, they are tailored to allow us to connect both virtually and literally with our customers in the spaces and places they convene.

Designed by the Baltimore-based creative agency TBC, the “CyberMaryland” advertising campaign debuted October 3 on WashingPost.com.  The media plan includes the San Francisco, Austin, Atlanta, Boston and San Antonio online business journals. Targeted online media includes CIO.org, CSO.org, TechRepublic, Government Security News and Digital Forensics Magazine.  Featuring a line-driven campaign designed to evoke HTML code, the three ads assert Maryland’s position as a cybersecurity leader with statements like “We’ve got the nation’s cybersecurity under lock and keystroke” and “We’re in the business of cyber breakthroughs.  Specifically stopping them.”  The ads will run through November and an expanded schedule debuts in Spring 2012.

As is true in many industries, our most effective marketing occurs face-to- face at specialized trade shows, events and conferences.  Connecting with potential customers and stakeholders at industry-centric gatherings such as RSA, InfoSec World and MilCom will be more effective and impactful when we unveil our new CyberMaryland exhibit this Friday at MDC3 in Baltimore.  Developed in conjunction with Baltimore’s Adler Display, the 10’x20’ display features life-size graphics of the cyber ad campaign, CyberMaryland logo and Lockheed Martin’s NexGen Cyber Innovation & Technology Center against a bold backdrop of silver, blue and white.

Advertising and trade shows are only two of the many marketing strategies we employ with and on behalf of our CyberMaryland partners to promote Maryland’s IT assets. Email marketing, social media promotion and news blogs are valuable tools for reaching the programmers, developers, hackers and techies who make up the information assurance world. Earlier this Spring we launched our Twitter account – now 560 strong – @CyberMaryland and unveiled a “shared stakeholder” website.  A public-private communications council convened to provide direction and insight from the cyber community and Baltimore’s G1440 helped create this centralized cybersecurity portal – www.cybermaryland.org – to promote jobs, news, events and business opportunities.


If you’d like further information on the state’s business development marketing strategies or want to learn how your company can adopt CyberMaryland, feel free to contact me at avernot@choosemaryland.org.  Note CyberMaryland in the subject line and be sure to include your email.

Andréa Vernot is the Assistant Secretary for Marketing & Communications at the Maryland Department of Business & Economic Development.  Follow her on Twitter @AndreaVernot or her new blog on marketing Maryland, “Selling the Free State” (coming soon).

Brothers Kevin and John Powderly had a dream – to take what they learned in more than a decade with GE and launch a company dedicated to keeping clients’ computer networks and data secure. It was a gamble, for in those days – the late 1990s – cybersecurity was a mere blip on the radar screen of technology companies. Today, it’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry employing more than 60,000 in Maryland alone.

 

Today, CyberCore Technologies – the company Kevin and John Powderly launched in 2000 – employs more than 200 Marylanders with expertise in cybersecurity, systems integration and secure supply chain management, who serve a client roster that includes some of the most recognizable names in both the government and commercial markets. In the 11 years since its founding, CyberCore has grown at double-digit rates annually. The company anticipates more than $200 million in sales in this year.

Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley joined the Powderly brothers and more than 300 guests at CyberCore to kick off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

“John and Kevin are just two of the amazing Marylanders who are working at the forefront of the Innovation Economy,” said Governor O’Malley, “creating jobs by advancing the cures, sciences, technologies and discoveries that are remaking our world for the better.”

If there was any doubt that Maryland is indeed the epicenter of cybersecurity, Governor O’Malley’s remarks – and the breadth of talent and expertise evident among those gathered at CyberCore – dispelled that doubt. From defense industry behemoths like Lockheed Martin that are protecting the security of our nation and our cyberspace, to educators like the University of Maryland that are turning out the next generation of cyber warriors, Maryland’s leadership in discovery, detection and defense was on display.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open CyberCore’s new state-of-the-art integration center and lab, the Governor met with a representative group of industry leaders – including CSC, Eagle Alliance,  Lockheed Martin and Lexmark – for a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity’s challenges and opportunities for Maryland. Participants in the roundtable commented on policy and law, education and workforce, investment and economic development. Dr. Patrick G. O’Shea, the University of Maryland’s Vice President for Research and Senior Research Officer, touted the innovative cybersecurity curricula developed by the university and its sister institutions, UMBC and UMUC.  These institutions – and ten others in Maryland – have been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as National Centers of Academic Excellence.

The visit to CyberCore was one in a series of events to commemorate National Cybersecurity Month in Maryland. The state’s economic development chief, Christian Johansson, wrapped up a business development mission to Silicon Valley Thursday. Maryland is a founding sponsor – along with SAIC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County – of the inaugural Maryland Cyber Challenge (MDC3) at the Baltimore Convention Center on October 21 and 22 and featuring high school, college and professional teams competing for scholarships and prize money. A new exhibit showcasing Maryland’s cyber strengths will be launched at MDC3, and a CyberMaryland advertising campaign debuted this month on WashingtonPost.com.

“There is an axion in business that you should only compete when you have a competitive advantage,” said Governor O’Malley. “When it comes to the emerging growth sector of cybersecurity, Maryland has a whole host of competitive advantages. I would argue that no state is better positioned than Maryland to lead the nation’s defense against cyber crime.”

by Mike Drake, Michael Haran, Rob King, and Eric Parekh

Sentinel IT was founded on the premise that there is more to life – and to business – than worrying about IT hassles.

In the early years of the Information Age, most small businesses could function with a one or two person IT department. Today, with increasingly complex computer networks and a marked rise in cyber crime, companies cannot operate without web administration, network security, help desk support and hardware/software management.

Enter the professionals of Sentinel IT. Through a range of consulting services, the company can offer small businesses with increased IT demands all the expertise and support of an in-house IT department without the high costs.

“Social malware is at an all-time high, and the days of poorly spelled e-mails and obvious e-mail attachments are waning. New malware is becoming smarter, and it is important for us to educate our clients on what threats are out there,” said Jeremy Bollman, Director of Operations for Sentinel IT.

Established in 2008, Sentinel IT has been working directly with small and mid-size businesses to provide IT assistance and direction to improve business productivity. This includes providing and supporting new software applications, VoIP implementations, and other services including network administration and security.

And, said Sentinel executives, they can even help companies identify IT problems that may not be obvious, including internal threats. The actions of one disgruntled employee, they say, can severely damage the systems and data of the business, so it is critical that companies have back-up plans and systems in case damage is caused by people or by nature.

Sentinel IT offers a few tips for dodging viruses and security threats:

• If it seems too good to be true, it is! There isn’t any free clothing and there are no free Apple iTunes gift cards.

• Don’t click on videos, especially those with “questionable” pictures or content. (You’ve seen the ones we are talking about on your friend’s wall on Facebook!)

• Don’t click on attachments in e-mail, especially if it is an EXE file that wants to download to your computer.

• No single antivirus program is 100% foolproof. By using more than one source of virus protection will help keep your system secure.

• Establish strong passwords for users. Strong passwords contain a combination of numbers, letters and symbols.

Loyola University, GB 747.51 Marketing & Social Media, Affiliate Instructor, Jennifer Gunner. 

Promotes open-source solutions for national security

by Haiyin Chang, Erdem Demirtas, Matt Robey and Drew Sogn

When you think about Linux, the world’s leading open-source computer operating system, you may not envision its use by the defense and intelligence communities in some of the world’s highest-security environments.  After all, the very spirit of Linux is a worldwide community of programmers advancing software for the common good – programmers far-flung from the top-secret clearances and impregnable SCIF spaces of the I-95 corridor.

Yet despite the apparent paradox, a special iteration of the software known as Security-Enhanced Linux (SE Linux) is prized by such users who need top-notch stability and iron-clad security features that strictly limit user functionality and access on a case-by-case basis.  Leading the cybersecurity industry in the enhancement of SE Linux and development of SE Linux products and applications for the federal government is Tresys Technology of Columbia, MD.

“[It’s] a combination that you don’t always find,” explains Gary Latham, CEO of Tresys.  “High-security, federal government, open-source, and proprietary all mixed in the same bag. But our belief is: build good things for the community, figure out which of those things are best adopted by a very broad community and push those into the open source community.  And then build on top of those things with our expertise the kinds of products and services that support the government in unique kinds of applications.”

Founded in 1999, Tresys now employs 69 employees in two offices – its headquarters in Columbia, MD, and a second office in Ashburn, VA.  Despite difficulties associated with dependence on federal government budget cycles and their associated delays and unpredictability, Tresys has enjoyed consistent growth rates averaging 20% a year for the last several years.  “This year we took a big uptick and grew about 70%.” Latham explains.  “Next year we target growing at about another 50% and we’ll continue to create jobs here.”

Tresys’s various products support secure information sharing in very demanding settings.  As its clients’ information sharing requirements get more complex, Tresys responds to these needs with innovation.  “Basically in the security business you’re always focused on trying to make sure you’re getting information to people who are supposed to have it and keeping it away from people who are not supposed to have it – those problems haven’t changed,” reflects Latham.  “What’s changed is the scale – we have more people using technology to get access to information.  And we have greater complexity in that we might have subtle variations of who’s supposed to share information – think coalition partners and [users] like that, that need access to some things but not everything.  The challenges we have in the changing landscape of the cybersecurity business are really trying to stay ahead of the technology curve.”

Tresys has capitalized on a recent trend by the government of moving away from long-term funding of technology programs that may limit efficiency and flexibility.  Latham reveals, “what the government is looking to do more and more these days is to seed technology and then have companies like Tresys actually productize that technology and get it out of the space of being a program that the government has to continually fund and into the space of a product that the market can set the demands for and the requirements for…”

With a consistent track record of business growth in Maryland, Latham admits that it was proximity to the client that drove the establishment of a headquarters in Columbia.  Yet he elaborates that its location has afforded other advantages.  “Maryland overall… has a really deep and rich talent pool.  Beyond just having a current talent pool, it’s clear through initiatives that the MD government is undertaking through investments in [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math] education that there’s a future path for more kids coming out of school who are going to have fundamental training in the kinds of skill sets that are going to be important to serve this industry for the long haul.”

In response to the company’s future path, Latham imagines that Tresys will increase its depth into the government market, serving the continued needs of the defense and intelligence communities.  Latham also speculates that “the other place [Tresys will grow] would be in adjacent markets like the critical infrastructure marketplace – places that the government can’t afford to see fail but are privately funded.  They’re going to share very common requirements going forward in the future.”

 Loyola University, GB 747.51 Marketing & Social Media, Affiliate Instructor, Jennifer Gunner. 

Brothers Kevin and John Powderly had a dream – to take what they learned in more than a decade with GE and launch a company dedicated to keeping clients’ computer networks and data secure. It was a gamble, for in those days – the late 1990s – cybersecurity was a mere blip on the radar screen of technology companies. Today, it’s a multi-billion-dollar global industry employing more than 60,000 in Maryland alone.

Today, CyberCore Technologies – the company Kevin and John Powderly launched in 2000 – employs more than 200 Marylanders with expertise in cybersecurity, systems integration and secure supply chain management, who serve a client roster that includes some of the most recognizable names in both the government and commercial markets. In the 11 years since its founding, CyberCore has grown at double-digit rates annually. The company anticipates more than $200 million in sales in this year.

Yesterday, Governor Martin O’Malley joined the Powderly brothers and more than 300 guests at CyberCore to kick off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.

“John and Kevin are just two of the amazing Marylanders who are working at the forefront of the Innovation Economy,” said Governor O’Malley, “creating jobs by advancing the cures, sciences, technologies and discoveries that are remaking our world for the better.”

If there was any doubt that Maryland is indeed the epicenter of cybersecurity, Governor O’Malley’s remarks – and the breadth of talent and expertise evident among those gathered at CyberCore – dispelled that doubt. From defense industry behemoths like Lockheed Martin that are protecting the security of our nation and our cyberspace, to educators like the University of Maryland that are turning out the next generation of cyber warriors, Maryland’s leadership in discovery, detection and defense was on display.

Following a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open CyberCore’s new state-of-the-art integration center and lab, the Governor met with a representative group of industry leaders – including CSC, Eagle Alliance,  Lockheed Martin and Lexmark – for a roundtable discussion on cybersecurity’s challenges and opportunities for Maryland. Participants in the roundtable commented on policy and law, education and workforce, investment and economic development. Dr. Patrick G. O’Shea, the University of Maryland’s Vice President for Research and Senior Research Officer, touted the innovative cybersecurity curricula developed by the university and its sister institutions, UMBC and UMUC.  These institutions – and ten others in Maryland – have been designated by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security as National Centers of Academic Excellence.

Maryland cyber industry leaders gather in front of the CyberCore Integration Center

The visit to CyberCore was one in a series of events to commemorate National Cybersecurity Month in Maryland. The state’s economic development chief, Christian Johansson, wrapped up a business development mission to Silicon Valley Thursday. Maryland is a founding sponsor – along with SAIC and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County – of the inaugural Maryland Cyber Challenge (MDC3) at the Baltimore Convention Center on October 21 and 22 and featuring high school, college and professional teams competing for scholarships and prize money. A new exhibit showcasing Maryland’s cyber strengths will be launched at MDC3, and a CyberMaryland advertising campaign debuted this month on WashingtonPost.com.

“There is an axiom in business that you should only compete when you have a competitive advantage,” said Governor O’Malley. “When it comes to the emerging growth sector of cybersecurity, Maryland has a whole host of competitive advantages. I would argue that no state is better positioned than Maryland to lead the nation’s defense against cyber crime.”

By Wanda Wickham

The WhiteOak Group, which makes its home in historic Easton on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, has been on a bit of a growing streak.

Founded just four years ago, WhiteOak, which specializes in designing and implementing technology systems for Fortune 500 companies as well as a number of federal government agencies like the U.S Department of Defense and Department of Energy, has seen its sales go from $197,461 in 2007 to more than $5.8 million last year. The astounding 2,856 percent jump in growth helped the company nab the 88th spot on this year’s Inc. Magazine’s 500 Fastest Growing Companies list.

WhiteOak Group CEO Daryl Dixon receives Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company Award at the Inc.500 Conference and Awards Ceremony in September. WhiteOak Group ranked 88th on the annual list.

“Our growth is due to the fact that we provide clients, real estate professionals, architects/designers with what they need to achieve smart, flexible, real estate that accommodates changing technology and changing business needs,” say Daryl Dixon, WhiteOak’s CEO. “Our success with winning new projects stems from our customers now demanding that the overall architecture and design of their facility be fully integrated with their technology platform.”

The company aptly takes its name from the storied White Oak Tree, famous on the Eastern Shore as a strong tree with roots that grow quick and deep, and can live as long as 500-600 years if properly maintained.

Since inception, WhiteOak Group has made a concentrated effort to increase its contracting opportunities by delivering unique solutions combined with proven methods to deliver solutions in less time than more traditional methods and below market value. “Other than people, technology is the most important and most expensive part of anyone’s business and it needs to drive all decisions around real estate,” said Tim Teasdale, VP-Global Sales and Marketing at WhiteOak Group. “We simply give our customers something better, faster and less expensive than anyone. That’s what we do and that’s why we’re growing. We are thrilled to be recognized in the top 100 of the Inc. 500 list.”

 Inc.’s 500 rankings, started in 1981, focus on the fastest growing private companies in the country and are based on a three-year revenue growth rate. The rankings were recently announced at the annual Inc. 500 Conference & Awards Ceremony, held in late September at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center. In addition to WhiteOak Group, 16 other Maryland-based companies made the list, including Green Spring Energy in Timonium, which ranked 15th, and Millennial Media in Baltimore, which ranked 74th.