Major cybersecurity center coming to Baton Rouge’s Water Campus

Major cybersecurity center coming to Baton Rouge’s Water Campus
Baton Rouge's Water Campus (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A major cybersecurity center is coming to the Water Campus in Baton Rouge.

Governor John Bel Edwards and Major General Glenn Curtis of the Louisiana National Guard announced plans on Tuesday to establish the capital region’s most secure cyber facility.

The Louisiana Cyber Coordination Center, or LC3, will be located at 1200 Brickyard Lane on the Water Campus south of downtown Baton Rouge.

Governor Edwards declared a statewide cybersecurity emergency in July after ongoing malware attacks impacted several north Louisiana school districts.

A cyberattack on the Tangipahoa School System caused a mess right before the back-to-school season.

Gov. Edwards says the project will generate dozens of new jobs.

More than 40 National Guardsmen periodically will use LC3 for training and real-world cybersecurity operations. LSU’s Stephenson Technologies Corp. affiliate will relocate 15 existing jobs while adding five new jobs at the cyber center, with Radiance Technologies retaining 22 existing jobs in Louisiana and adding 15 new cybersecurity jobs over the next two years: 10 at the Water Campus LC3 and five at its Louisiana Tech University location in Ruston.

The new direct jobs created by LSU and Radiance will provide an average annual salary of $70,000, plus benefits.

“When I created the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission in 2017, we established a goal of making Louisiana a leader in this fast-growing field,” Gov. Edwards said. “Our top mission is ensuring the safety of sensitive information for Louisiana’s families, our military, our schools, our health care facilities and our private sector employers. We want everyone’s data and privacy to be safe and secure. So it’s incumbent upon us to invest in cybersecurity measures that protect our citizens from damaging attacks. Establishing this facility will provide one of the greatest tools for that safety, and it will continue our mission of becoming a global cybersecurity leader.”

To secure the project, the State of Louisiana will provide $1.5 million through Louisiana Economic Development to build-out the existing 11,000 square feet to meet strict government standards. Also through LED, $500,000 in additional funds will support lease payments for up to five years. Other partners in the project, including the Water Campus and STC, will provide up to $250,000 for facility operations.

When fully realized, the LC3 facility will support cyber-related missions at major military installations in Louisiana, such as Fort Polk’s Joint Readiness Training Center and Barksdale Air Force Base’s Global Strike Command.

“This cyber center is exactly what the Louisiana National Guard and the State of Louisiana needed to facilitate the fulfillment of its cybersecurity mission,” Gen. Curtis said. “Over time, for those who are authorized to use this facility, this cyber center will act as the central civilian interface for coordinating cybersecurity information sharing, performing cybersecurity threat analysis, and promoting shared and real-time situational awareness between and among the public and private sectors.”

Once fully operational, the Water Campus site will play a key role in responding to civilian cyber attacks upon schools and government institutions, as well as private workplaces.

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