On Tuesday, the Georgia Cyber Center officially opens.
The Augusta facility is intended to train people for computer-related security jobs. It will also serve as the headquarters for the GBI’s high-tech crime investigations, and it’s near Fort Gordon, which is a headquarters for the Army’s cyber unit.
“It’s exciting for the GBI,” said Steven Foster, special agent in charge at the GBI’s Cyber-Crime Unit.
The GBI is adding more forensics staff in its cyber unit, both to investigate cybercrimes like banking scams, and also to use high tech tools like cell phone records to work on other types of cases.
Foster said he believes the GBI will be able to help other organizations at the Cyber Center, for instance by suggesting security issues for them to research, and will also benefit from them.
Officials say the Cyber Center, located on Augusta University’s campus will also be a hub for research and for start-ups, and a resource for businesses.
“Most every organization has some type of information, intellectual property, that they’re concerned about protecting. They have a keen interest in making that information as secure as possible,” said Calvin Rhodes, executive director of the Georgia Technology Authority.
Michael Shaffer, executive VP of strategic partnerships and economic development at Augusta University, said he hopes it will also motivate skilled workers to stay in Georgia.
“We lose a lot of talent,” he said. “You hear people all the time talking about they’re going to California, or they may be going up to Boston, or out to Texas. Well, how do we create an ecosystem to keep them here.”
Governor Nathan Deal announced the $100 million project last year.
The center’s first event after Tuesday’s opening is the next day. Wednesday, it hosts an “IT security” conference.