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The need for cybersecurity solutions and experts is going to grow as more companies such as Sony Pictures, Target, Home Depot, and Chase are hacked. Moreover, consumers demand better online security, and businesses become more aware of the potential cost to their sales and reputation if they do not provide cybersecurity.

As private sector firms compete with government agencies for the best cyber professionals, cities and states are also competing to be the country’s “cyber hub.” The global cybersecurity market reached $67 billion in 2011, and it is projected to grow as high as $156 billion by 2019. This, according to Markets and Markets, a Dallas-based research firm.

Jim Dinegar, chief executive officer of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, told Homeland Security News Wire he recently took eighty-two bank presidents, construction executives, real estate agents, and mortgage brokers on a “cyber bus tour”. They surveyed construction of the government’s 750,000-square-foot data center located in Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, home to the NSA and the U.S. military’s cyberwarfare command. According to Dinegar, “Cybersecurity is an opportunity that’s bigger than anything I’ve ever seen.” He hopes a cybersecurity boom will bring more jobs and businesses to the District of Columbia, northern Virginia, and suburban Maryland area.

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The Christian Science Monitor notes that Dinegar is facing competition from Silicon Valley, Texas, Florida, and other areas where public and private groups are positioning themselves to win millions in federal contracts and from venture capital firms. Many cities are building what they call “a cybersecurity ecosystem” by offering cyber firms tax-incentive packages to relocate and hiring public relations firms to devise branding strategies. Some Cities are investing in cyber start-ups and even crafting academic programs to teach the next generation of cyber professionals to meet worker demand.

The Greater Washington area has a major advantage due to its proximity to headquarters of federal agencies. Federal contracts with the NSA, for instance, often have requirements that firms be within a few miles of the government customers paying them – whereas Silicon Valley is out of this range.

Karen Jackson, Virginia’s secretary of technology, told Homeland Security News Wire “We’re nationally ranked as the best place to do business. That’s a national ranking that says we’re better than everyone else.” Jackson is working on landing the “Civilian Cyber Campus,” which is intended to be a new center to consolidate civilians from DHS and the Justice Department onto one campus. The White House’s budget for 2016 requested $227 million for the center, though the location is yet to be named.