Houston, We Have A Problem (Cyber)

We all know every city has this same problem, so why share what’s up in Houston?   This city is in many ways like San Diego, as is Texas and California, so collectively they can set the cyber tone in the west. That is, doing collaborative, actionable things versus just continuing to admire the problem (threat).

Houston is the 4th largest city in the USA (SD is the 8th), both are very diverse in culture, business and academia (with SD the lead on the latter).

Houston has a large port district and maritime influence, SD has an even larger, more global port ecosphere.

Both have an economic and symbiotic relationship with Mexico and cross border opportunities (with SD the more mature effort).

Houston has a strong high technology effort, while SD leads in the cyber startup / incubator support infrastructure.

The academia, university, overall educational efforts are similar as well, with SD leading in education, especially with SOeC.

Houston is second only to New York with the most number of fortune 500 companies – thus business does business there.  SD has a wide industry base of government, academia, research, diverse businesses, etc. The two can complement each other in a highly symbiotic relationship.

So in short, it’s natural to link up the two as cyber sister cities, as well as the larger CyberTexas and CyberCalifornia initiatives. The ability to share cyber information can be geometrically increased, highly leveraged, and better integrated as partners between all three – government, business and academia.

So what’s Houston doing?  They have the usual professional security groups of course: ISSA, ISC2, Infragard and Houston InfoSec (a monthly happy hour, network, presentation affair), and a few others.

Infragard is especially active and has several SIGs, of which I support two – Maritime and Technology.

We’ve recently initiated a “Cybersecurity Solutions SIG” as a Houston MeetUp (though open to anyone) to better harmonize the various security groups as well as take a project, action oriented cyber focus, going beyond just information sharing. http://www.meetup.com/Cyber-Security-Solutions-SIG/

Something we think every city needs to do in some manner.. aka, start DOING more cyber.

Blog written by Mike Davis, Deputy Director and Senior Manager, IT Security, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS).