SAN ANTONIO -- Did you know San Antonio ranks second only to the nation's capital for cybersecurity resources?
In fact, San Antonio, or "Cybersecurity City USA,” has a tremendous amount of jobs. The local industry just needs to fill them.
"In Texas last year, there were 40,000 computing jobs that went unfilled. The average salary for those jobs is $89,000. That's more than double the average in the state of Texas,” Congressman Will Hurd said. “There's a lot of jobs right here in Texas that we just need to make sure we're educating our kids to take.”
This is the third year for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Cybersecurity campaign.
"With about 50 billion devices being connected to the Internet by 2020, that means there's lots of ways that different cybersecurity threats can get in through organized crime or even terrorist organizations," said Belinda Matingou, regional executive director of the Texas Association of Business.
Just one takeaway from Tuesday’s Cybersecurity Conference, held at the Embassy Suites in downtown San Antonio, should be that all businesses should already assume that some type of malware is in your network.
"People are being infected, their data is being hijacked and locked down, people are being extorted, Bitcoins is the term that's being floated around," said Lucas McLane, director of security technology for SparkCognition.
Small businesses don't have the same resources as the major financial institutions to protect themselves from hackers. Tuesday's conference aimed to remedy that need.
SparkCognition, for example, uses machine learning to eliminate the need for constant updates in antivirus software. Their software detects and blocks threats automatically.
Security breaches at large corporations can be breaking national news, so imagine the impact on a mom-and-pop shop that likely has fewer resources at their fingertips.
"[San Antonio has the] 24th and 25th Air Force, NSA Texas, then you have some great companies like Rackspace, USAA," Hurd said. "Then you have amazing institutions like UTSA and Texas A&M-San Antonio that are producing great graduates that can handle these issues and you also have them doing great research as well."
San Antonio is surrounded by an ecosystem of cybersecurity agencies serving to protect smaller corporations. In a city on the leading edge of this growing sector, that, in turn, creates more jobs and more resources to turn to.
"When it comes to computer science, when it comes to computing, this is the future. And we need to have more kids that understand these topics so we can have them filling the right kind of jobs," Matingou said.
Matingou added that the need is so great for talent in the cybersecurity field right now that there's about a -6 percent employment rate.
For more information on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Cybersecurity campaign, visit the campaign’s official website here.