Providing Thought Leadership, Collaboration, and Multidisciplinary Education
In today’s connected society, organizations everywhere are investing in technology to achieve their goals. Whether they are looking to improve customer experiences, edge out the competition, or drive previously unimagined innovations, these organizations are using new and advanced levels of technology to their advantage. However, as the use of technology grows, so does the risk of cybersecurity threats.
The implications are significant and reflect a growing fear of cyber-attacks, in large measure based on cybercrime. According to McKinsey & Company, the cybersecurity market is seeing a 15% annual increase of costs related to cybercrime, which will reach $10.5 trillion a year in 2025. And organizations are projected to spend $101.5 billion on cybersecurity service providers by 2025.
Amid a growing need for cybersecurity education and activism, the National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) was born.
 McKinsey & Company, “Cybersecurity trends: Looking over the horizon,” March 10, 2022.
About the National Cybersecurity Center
Watch the NCC Vision Video here!
Established in 2016, the NCC works to provide leadership and cybersecurity education to advance forward-thinking security policies and programs. Serving public and private organizations and individuals, the NCC works with the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) to deliver an integrated, interdisciplinary cybersecurity center to deter cyber threats. The NCC also serves as the operational home to the Space ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Center), helping to secure assets and systems in space.
“We saw some of the first instances of cyber-attacks in the mid-1990s when Microsoft and DOD websites were defaced. Bill Gates, the Pentagon, and others were being attacked,” said NCC CEO, General Harry Raduege. “It became clear that technology had the potential to create widespread vulnerabilities then and in the future.”
Three Pillars of Cybersecurity Engagement
The NCC’s stated mission is to build a collaborative, operational, and interdisciplinary model for cybersecurity engagement that transforms our nation’s ability to detect and deter threats. The organization’s activities can be categorized into three pillars:
Pillar #1: Thought Leadership and Community Activation
The NCC generates thought leadership and drives community awareness through the active participation of board members and advisors who bring decades of cybersecurity and space operations expertise. Together, they discuss cybersecurity challenges and new approaches to resolve them, while also influencing public policy at all levels of the government.
One example of the NCC’s work in community engagement is the establishment of the Inaugural Colorado Cyber Games. The unique competition involves virtual “capture the flag” activities, connecting employers with skilled job candidates. The event offers a novel way for candidates to demonstrate their cybersecurity skills and expertise and be exposed to employers. For employers, the competition aids in the recruitment of candidates with proven cybersecurity skills.
Pillar #2: Operational Readiness Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration in Space and Cyberspace
With interdisciplinary partnerships, the NCC convenes the right stakeholders and resources to build cybersecurity readiness, research, and innovative technology solutions. For example, the Space ISAC serves as the primary communications channel for threats and vulnerabilities to space, and demonstrates the NCC’s ability to engage, convene, and operationalize against space vulnerabilities and threats. The Space ISAC is the only all-threats security information source for the public and private space sector. It strives to be the most comprehensive, single source for data, facts, and analysis on space security and threats to space assets.
Pillar #3: Education, Training, Certifications, and Workforce Development
The NCC works with educational institutions, government bodies, and businesses to educate, train, and equip communities with accessible cybersecurity knowledge, skills, and certifications. The organization operates partners with the Colorado Cyber Resource Center and partners with UCCS to provide results-focused cybersecurity education and awareness.
The organization has successfully educated over 1,500 students, facilitated over 800 certifications, and provided cybersecurity training for over 1,200 legislators across more than 50 states, districts, and territories.
One example of the NCC’s work in this area involves elected officials who face a growing number of vulnerabilities that seek to compromise the country’s democratic constitutions. To address the need, the NCC created Cybersecurity for State Leaders, an initiative supported by Google that trains legislators on cybersecurity best practices. The program aims to educate lawmakers and staff on ways to strengthen their defenses against digital attacks.
A Vision for the Future
On the whole, the NCC is committed to actively transforming our nation’s ability to deter cyber threats—including those involving space assets and systems—while remaining grounded in trust, accessibility, and a watchful eye towards the future.
“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility,” said Raduege. “We believe strategic collaboration, education, and training can create a safer world. Our goal is to help governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals protect their systems and data from bad actors. We hope to integrate cybersecurity knowledge into every fabric of society.”
To learn more and join in our vision of protecting against cyber threats, visit www.cyber-center.org.