Mississippi Cyber Initiative continues collaboration in meeting at Jackson State

Mississippi Cyber Initiative continues collaboration in meeting at Jackson State

Jim Martin speaks at an MCI Summit in Jackson

JACKSON, Miss.—The Mississippi Cyber Initiative continues to advance several efforts aimed at solving current cybersecurity issues and training a cyber-ready workforce.

MCI held its most recent quarterly Cyber Summit at Jackson State University in late January, bringing together experts from defense, academia and private industry. Led by Mississippi State University, the Mississippi Cyber Initiative leverages resources across the Magnolia State to address cyber challenges facing the state and nation.

During the summit, multiple speakers focused on the trend of hackers and other criminals using artificial intelligence tools to gain access to systems, as well as the security implications of using AI and machine learning systems that rely on external data.

“Machine learning systems are inherently insecure,” said Dameion Brown, JSU chief information security officer, noting that bad actors can input data that will bias a model’s outputs.

Jim Martin, MSU associate vice president for economic development and corporate engagement and MCI lead, said architectural designs are moving forward for the Mississippi Cyber and Technology Center. The planned-100,000-square foot building adjacent to Keesler Air Force Base will serve as MCI’s headquarters once built. MSU Research and Technology Corporation and the Air Force Civil Engineering Center currently are negotiating an enhanced use lease agreement, with Dale Partners serving as the architect for the project.

“This is going to be a great spot to advance a lot of different initiatives,” Martin said. “This will be a first-class facility that will include space for training, events, private industry and operations that require a secure space. Our ultimate goal is to develop a cyber and innovation campus that encompasses multiple buildings.”

Summit attendees heard updates on two new efforts to grow artificial intelligence education and capabilities in the state. Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Executive Vice President Jonathan Woodward shared plans for the Mississippi Artificial Intelligence Network, while Mississippi Coding Academies Executive Director Bob Buseck highlighted the work of the Mississippi AI Collaborative. Both speakers emphasized the need to educate younger generations that will come of age with easy access to AI tools.

Other summit speakers provided updates on current cyber threats that are being investigated by offices such as the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center, U.S. Secret Service, Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, Mississippi Cyber Unit, C – Spire and Accelerate Mississippi. In support of meeting our partnered law enforcement needs, MCI established a Digital Forensics Lab at the MGCCC Harrison County Campus that is currently being utilized by 36 partnered law enforcement agencies. The lab has processed more than 900 digital devices to support criminal investigations since it opened in 2022. In addition, the cyber ecosystem provides a control environment for academic institutions to explore cyber simulated network environments.

For more on the Mississippi Cyber Initiative, visit www.mscyberinitiative.org or follow MCI on Twitter (MS_Cyber_Init) and LinkedIN (Mississippi Cyber Initiative).



Jim Martin

Mississippi State

  • Associate Vice President for Corporate Engagement and Economic Development

Martin Rivera

Mississippi State

  • MCI Technical Director

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