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Aug. 26, 2014 1:30 pm

NSA taps cybersecurity startup Maddrix for industry help squad

The Federal Hill-based startup was one of seven companies selected by the National Security Agency to help deal with cyber attacks.

NSA headquarters.

(Photo by Flickr user quinn norton, used under a Creative Commons license)

The National Security Agency needs help.

“Over the past 6 years, the number of [cybersecurity] incidents reported by federal agencies to the federal information security incident center has increased by nearly 680 percent,” a 2012 U.S. Government Accountability Office report found.

And that threat is not shrinking.

That’s why the NSA developed its National Security Cyber Assistance Program, which taps private companies to help deal with cyber attacks.

Its inaugural class of industry partners includes seven companies. Earlier this month, Maddrix announced it was one of them. Other companies involved in the NSA program include Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and Verizon.

The much smaller Baltimore-based Maddrix shares office space with fellow cybersecurity firm ZeroFOX in Federal Hill, according to a Baltimore Sun report.

To earn the NSA accreditation the companies had to pass muster in 21 cybersecurity specialties, including intrusion detection, incident analysis and attack remediation.

“Our extensive experience supporting U.S. government agencies, critical infrastructure, and private sector organizations, combined with our advanced technical solutions, facilitated our ability to successfully meet this demanding evaluation criteria,” Maddrix chief technology officer Ron Shaffer said in a statement.

The two-year-old company has 12 full-time staffers, according to the Sun report.

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Zack Seward

Zack Seward is Editor-in-Chief of Technical.ly, the local technology news network. Previously, Seward was the Innovations Reporter at WHYY and NewsWorks.org in Philadelphia. Before that, he worked at WXXI in Rochester, N.Y., as a reporter and editor for a statewide public radio reporting project. Seward is an alumnus of Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism. He's originally from San Francisco and went to college in Chicago. He lives in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

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