(Photo via Accenture Federal Services on website)
This Arlington, Va.-based company is taking its cybersecurity talents to Texas’ second biggest city.
The Accenture Federal Services (AFS) Cyber Center came about as part of a larger investment AFS made into San Antonio that includes $5 million and the addition of 500 jobs to the area over the next four years, Tom Greiner, AFS technology business lead, told Technical.ly.
“There are a number of reasons why this is a priority for both AFS and for local officials. Notably, San Antonio is an important strategic hub for cybersecurity in the United States. For example, the city is home to the 24th and 25th (who recently announced they were merging) Air Force,” Greiner said. “These groups are specifically focused on combatting cyber warfare.”
Greiner said that AFS was also drawn to San Antonio because there are a number of government agencies and organizations who have a significant presence in San Antonio, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the south Army Research Lab.
The cyber center will focus on managing, detecting and responding to cyber threats that target government networks. The center’s team is comprised of about 40 employees working on its managed detection and response capabilities. That employee count may increase depending on the center’s client and project needs in the coming years. Overall, AFS currently employs 1,300 people in San Antonio.
Greiner said the AFS team decided to launch the cyber center after a May 2018 report authored by the Office of Management and Budget and DHS found that three out of four federal government agencies have cybersecurity programs considered either at-risk or high-risk. The team wanted to provide a viable way for these organizations to access best-in-class cybersecurity protection and services.
“At AFS, we feel like we have a unique opportunity help address the cyber poverty line – the gap between the cybersecurity haves and have-nots. One way we do this is through managed cybersecurity services, which can help dramatically advance cybersecurity objectives in a cost-effective manner,” Greiner said. “The AFS Cyber Center offers a comprehensive suite of security-as-a-service solutions and advanced capabilities in adversary simulation, orchestration and automation, and managed detection and response.”
This is not all AFS is doing on the cyber front. The company recently became the anchor industry partner with for San Antonio Cyber P-TECH at Sam Houston High School, which will be the region’s only Pathways in Technology Early College High School debuting in the fall for the 2019-2020 academic year. This program gives students the skills, credentials and industry-specific associate degrees necessary for high-wage, high-demand careers in cybersecurity, a press release states. (Technical.ly covered P-Tech programs is Baltimore and Brooklyn).
Last June, its parent company Accenture launched a Cyber Fusion Center in Arlington, Va., that helps clients apply new techniques and intelligent technologies to detect and defend against data breaches and cyber attacks. With this expansion, the company also announced its commitment to add 1,000 skilled tech jobs to the area by 2020. Greiner added that AFS’ Digital Studio for Government in D.C. helps agencies address complex, enterprise-scale challenges often centered around cybersecurity.
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