Industry Sector: Cybersecurity

The U.S. faces a growing threat from cyber-attacks to its critical infrastructure, including financial and healthcare systems, transportation centers, energy and utility companies, federal agencies, IT networks, and commercial enterprises. These attacks result in increasing operational disruption, financial losses and compromising of personal data, with damage in the hundreds of billions of dollars.  

Fairfax County is a recognized leader in cybersecurity -- a hub for leading companies, federal agencies, universities and associations, both domestic and international -- in battling these incursions.  With unparalleled market access to large public- and private-sector clients as well as major information technology vendors and consulting firms, the county’s robust cyber ecosystem includes more than 500 firms, ranging from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

The business climate, infrastructure and proximity to the Washington, D.C., area have made Fairfax County the ideal location, not only for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Department of Homeland Security, National Geospatial–Intelligence Agency, National Reconnaissance Office and  Office of the Director of National Intelligence, but for the technology companies that serve them.

Among federal cybersecurity and information assurance contractors with a major presence in the county are Booz Allen Hamilton, SAIC, Northrop Grumman, CSC, General Dynamics, Carahsoft, Dell Security, CACI, Lockheed Martin, Leidos, BAE, ICF International, ForcePoint, ForeScout, Iron Bow Technologies, Unisys and MITRE Corporation.

Other leading technical companies involved with cybersecurity include IKANOW, FireEye, Blue Coat, VERINT, Palo Alto Networks, RSA, Symantec, Microsoft and Cisco.

Importantly, Fairfax County has the talent pipeline to serve the growing needs of cybersecurity thanks to local universities such as Virginia Tech, George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College.

Many workers already have government clearance in a workforce that is laden with skilled information security analysts, software systems developers and computer network architects. More than 16,000 IT workers in the D.C. region belong to the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC)2, a global, not-for-profit leader in educating and certifying information security professionals.

Fairfax County directly supports the next generation of cybersecurity developers. With a range of business accelerators, access to research grants and supporting services such as the Mach37 cyber accelerator at the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) in Herndon.  Mach37 provides a highly integrated network of hundreds of cybersecurity experts to promote innovations and commercial success.  Fairfax County Economic Development Authority sponsors cybersecurity conferences around the globe and collaborates with security organizations such as Hague Security Delta, IsraelDefense, UKTI and BICC NET.