Established by the Florida Legislature in 2014 and located on the campus of the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa, the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2), serves as a statewide resource. With a geographic footprint that spans Florida and encompasses all twelve institutions in the State University System (SUS), the Center serves as a centralized hub for creating connections, building partnerships, capitalizing on opportunities and encouraging collaboration among stakeholders in industry, academia, government and defense.
• Position Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity through education, research, and community engagement.
• Assist in the development of a highly-skilled cyber talent pipeline, enhance the existing cybersecurity workforce, support economic and workforce development, and attract new industry to the state.
• Act as a facilitator for industry, military and higher education communities to share cybersecurity knowledge, resources and training.
Led by a nationally-recognized Board of Advisors chaired by Vice Adm. (retired) Mike McConnell, former director of national intelligence, the Center has focused on the development of programs and initiatives to support a legislatively-mandated mission built around education, interdisciplinary research and community engagement.
• Awarded more than $1.5 million as part of a Seed Award Program to fund cybersecurity research projects – linking researchers from across Florida’s SUS to support cross-institutional collaboration and development of a cyber research ‘ecosystem’ in Florida.
• Supports efforts of SUS institutions to secure National Center of Excellence designations, including USF’s recent designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research.
• Organized and hosted a 2017 Research Symposium that brought together industry, academic researchers from across the SUS and students to share their work, learn about new cybersecurity research and connect with fellow researchers from across Florida.
• Facilitates a SUS Advisory Council on Cybersecurity to connect the twelve SUS institutions in Florida and create a forum for information-sharing and collaboration.
• Developed and launched a nationally-recognized pilot cybersecurity training and certification program for veterans. New Skills for a New Fight fast-tracked deserving veterans into the workforce – creating post-military career paths to help fill critical workforce shortages.
• Assisted USF with development of an interdisciplinary master’s in cybersecurity program that offers four different concentrations and boasts an enrollment of more than 450 students.
• Led efforts resulting in the award of a federal grant to develop and launch a new training program for Army reservists as part of the U.S. Army Reserve P3 initiative.
• Launched and supported cybersecurity programs for high school students
• Maintains a robust community engagement program that serves a variety of audiences. FC2 participates in and supports numerous events to build awareness and encourage dialogue on key cyber topics. Recent activities include an event, co-hosted with The Christian Science Monitor Passcode, for a discussion on ransomware and sponsorship of B-Sides Orlando 2017, a security event that connects industry veterans with new and aspiring cyber experts.
• Hosts an annual fall conference, the Center’s signature event, at the Tampa Convention Center to bring together stakeholders from industry, government, academia, students, and the military to share information, network, explore ideas and learn about emerging trends and today’s hottest cyber topics.
Director, Florida Center for Cybersecurity
As director of the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2), Sri Sridharan provides strategic oversight of the Center and is responsible for spearheading initiatives focused on driving workforce development, attracting new industry, and positioning Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity.
A seasoned expert with more than forty years of experience, Sridharan brings a base of knowledge acquired from his work with companies ranging from small start-ups to international industry giants like IBM.
During his career, he has held top management positions focused on: technology-based continuous availability solutions for complex business challenges, solutions for service-quality intelligence on IT performance against business objectives, solutions for wireless mobility/business process integration, ASP
(Application Service Provider) solutions with eight international data centers, custom applications for global procurement and distribution management, and hosting in-house hospital information systems.
At the Florida Center for Cybersecurity, Sridharan has applied his business acumen to create the infrastructure of a statewide center that was formed to serve as a resource for cybersecurity education, community engagement and innovative, interdisciplinary research within an academic environment.
In this capacity, he has developed critical industry and government relationships, and positioned the Florida Center for Cybersecurity to become a national player on the cybersecurity landscape.
Sridharan holds three masters’ degrees (computer science, mathematics, and applied mathematics) and he lives in Tampa, Florida.