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McAuliffe to push for cybersecurity investments

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Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday that his two-year budget will include funding designed to boost Virginia’s cybersecurity industry.

The governor’s proposals include development of a “cyber range” that will provide high school and college students a virtual platform to practice cyber skills.

The range also will allow Virginia to provide training on cyber-attack detection and defense, develop certifications, conduct research and provide training for active duty military and veterans.

McAuliffe also plans to offer scholarships for two years of tuition to students in exchange for two years of public service and create cybersecurity apprenticeships that allow students to earn an education and get real-world experience at the same time.

Additional funding would go toward helping more of Virginia’s higher education institutions become Centers for Academic Excellence. These centers are certified universities and colleges that meet national standards for cybersecurity training.

So far, eight of Virginia’s public and private four-year institutions, and two community colleges have earned the designation (Northern Virginia and Lord Fairfax communities colleges).

McAuliffe said his goal is for all 23 community colleges to achieve the certification.

Costs of the proposals will be annoucned when McAuliffe releases his budget later this month.

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