MCI collaborations growing one year after opening Mississippi Cyber Center annex at MGCCC

MCI collaborations growing one year after opening Mississippi Cyber Center annex at MGCCC

Officials cut a ribbon in front of the Mississippi Cyber Center

On Nov. 9, 2022, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Mississippi State University officially opened the Mississippi Cyber Center annex, marking a new era of collaboration in cybersecurity across the Magnolia State.

The facility at MGCCC’s Harrison County Campus serves as the current headquarters for the MSU-led Mississippi Cyber Initiative, which has continued to grow a collaboration of community, academic, multiple state, and federal partners to address cybersecurity issues within our state. MCI’s impact has accelerated since opening the facility one year ago.

The Mississippi Cyber Initiative, established in 2021, is a statewide effort to broaden the state’s capabilities and coordination in cybersecurity. This field will play a key role in Mississippi’s economy for decades. The initiative grew out of MSU’s support for cyber activities at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, a central training hub for the U.S. Air Force. MCI is leveraging collective expertise among academia, the private sector, federal and local government, law enforcement, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the Mississippi National Guard.

Utilizing an initial state investment of $3.5 million, the Mississippi Cyber Initiative has worked to build collaborations, assess stakeholder needs, and develop the Mississippi Cyber Center.

Since opening, the Mississippi Cyber Center has hosted cyber training and outreach opportunities through its on-premise cyber ecosystem and assisted in processing over 800 digital devices with law enforcement partners utilizing the center’s Digital Forensics Lab. The digital forensics efforts have led to increased inter-agency collaboration and new training opportunities for law enforcement personnel.

“This work is a testament to the Mississippi Cyber Initiative team’s ability to identify and address key needs for our state,” said Jim Martin MSU associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development and MCI lead. “It is exciting to see our vision turning into reality as we work to improve the state’s cybersecurity posture. These efforts would not be possible without many different partners involved, and we thank every collaborator for their support.”

A picture of the Mississippi Cyber Initiative team
The Mississippi Cyber Initiative team includes, from left, Senior Network Analyst Bryan Butler, Cyber Range Engineer Jeffery Gonzales, Digital Forensics Analyst Frank Mazzola and MCI Technical Manager Martin Rivera.

MCI is also looking to the future after MSU Research and Technology Corp. was selected this year to the Department of the Air Force (DAF) Enhanced Use Lease program. The selection provides for contract negotiations between the Air Force’s Civil Engineering Center and MSU Research and Technology Corp. for property adjacent to Keesler Air Force Base, which will house the Mississippi Cyber and Technology Center.

The Mississippi Cyber and Technology Center will serve as the hub for a robust network of statewide partners, offering a coordination site for cyber training and threat mitigation efforts and space for collaboration with private sector partners.

MCI continues to host quarterly cyber summit, with the most recent event taking place in October at Keesler Air Force Base. Planning is currently underway for the next summit, anticipated in early 2024.



Jim Martin

Mississippi State

  • Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Economic Development

Martin Rivera

Mississippi State

  • MCI Technical Director

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