SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Louisiana’s governor addressed cybersecurity teams who have come from throughout the country for a two-day national summit in downtown Shreveport.
It was aimed at protecting government, businesses, critical infrastructure and the general public.
Gov. John Bel Edwards delivered the keynote address on the final day of the gathering in the Shreveport Convention Center.
“The I-20 corridor in Louisiana is now one of the fastest-growing cybersecurity regions, not just in Louisiana and not just in the South, but across the nation.”
Edwards told the gathering he hopes Louisiana can serve as a model for other states.
“Cybersecurity is a threat to all of us. And that’s why we’re all here. We know that. We should be sharing best practices across state lines.”
Edwards co-chairs the National Governors Association’s Resource Center for state cybersecurity, which organized the summit.
Ultimately, summit organizers said, the conference is all about learning about the latest threats and exchanging ideas and some concrete steps that can help with cyber strategies.
Edwards pointed to work force training as critical.
“Our colleges and universities in Louisiana have multiple new cyber degree offerings at four- and two-year institutions that are producing more graduates that are ready for meeting our state and national cybersecurity needs.”
That includes Grambling State University's cybersecurity degree program.
GSU President Rick Gallot told KSLA News 12 that events like the summit can only help. “It’s a good opportunity to highlight all the great things we’re doing, especially in North Louisiana.”
The summit, and the ideas presented during the event, also help push back against the so-called brain drain - young professionals often leaving Louisiana after earning their college degrees.
Edwards concluded his remarks by explaining the bottom line to this entire effort.
“Our primary goal in Louisiana is to retain this newly developed cyber talent right here with good-paying jobs post graduation.”
That's music to the ears of the business community.
“It’s just a snowball effect in the economy because ... as the new people move in, they need places to to live,” said Kristen Brown, president of Bossier City-based Brown Builders Inc.
And with nearly 3 million cybersecurity positions open and unfilled around the world, they’re expected to help drive the state economy forward.