Lockheed Martin Leads the Pack in Cybersecurity Protections


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The cyber threat landscape is more dynamic than ever. Reports detail a global proliferation of malicious and criminal cyber activity at a time when we are increasingly dependent on cyber capabilities in all aspects of our lives. There are no longer international boundaries, with state actors experimenting with offensive cyber capabilities. Moreover, cyber criminals are broadening their efforts to achieve higher value pay-outs from citizens, organizations and institutions. Thankfully, Lockheed Martin employees in Central Florida are working hard to ward off malicious activity and have a sharp eye on protecting U.S. military assets. The Florida Chamber recently spoke with Deon Viergutz, Vice President, Lockheed Martin Cyber Solutions about the company’s cybersecurity initiatives and workforce.


Q: Earlier this year, Lockheed Martin secured a $33 million contract from the U.S. Army to enhance the military’s cybersecurity efforts. Please share your organization’s efforts in helping make sure our nation’s defense infrastructure is secure from the cybersecurity perspective and the impact it has on Florida’s growing technology sector.


DV: Lockheed Martin is a global leader delivering full-spectrum cyber capabilities – supporting the offensive and defensive efforts of our defense, intelligence community and national security customers. This is a growing field – in fact, you’ll find more cyber-related sections in the recent National Defense Authorization Act than previous NDAAs. Within Lockheed Martin, our team has been the prime contractor supporting the National Cyber Range and its mission to perform cyber testing and training activities, beginning with the range’s initial development under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since then, we’ve provided secure facilities, innovative technologies, and repeatable processes that create high fidelity, mission-representative cyberspace environments for the Department of Defense’s acquisition programs and Cyber Mission Force.  Furthermore, the team is leveraging their experience in creating, maintaining and executing complex training environments for the Persistent Cyber Training Environment competition – a U.S. Army contract in which we’re vying that has a ceiling of $750 million. These give you a sample of the many contracts we support, most of which are classified in nature. This work has translated to an increase in high quality technology jobs in the local community.


Q: What are some of the emerging technology trends in the cyber space and what’s Lockheed involvement in them?

There are two key emerging areas that will truly change the 21st century battlefield and we’re making internal research and development investments in both. The first is using artificial intelligence to collect, collate, sift, analyze and share vast amounts of information with the intelligence community. This is a significant problem as warfighters are overloaded with keeping track of threats. The second area is in training and simulation. Our Orlando team is on the cutting edge of technology development in this area. As we look to the future for training and simulation, I see tremendous opportunities to help our customers advance training realism and point of need training, while helping them meet their budget needs. Our Lockheed Martin team is focused on redefining mission readiness because simulation saves money and training saves lives.


Q: Employers regularly tell us a qualified “workforce” is their biggest concern. How difficult is it for Lockheed to fill these important cybersecurity/STEM jobs?


DV: There’s certainly a shortage of cleared cyber talent and research[1] shows the number of unfilled cyber jobs is expected to rise to 3.5 million by 2021. That said, we’re partnering with academic and government organizations to invest in and develop a broad array of programs that strengthen the pipeline of STEM talent by inspiring children early, reaching out to the underrepresented, opening mentoring, training and internship opportunities, and partnering with higher education to provide apprenticeships, clearance programs, and job offers. Luckily for us, local institutions such as the University of Central Florida and other universities are graduating tremendous talent in the cyber field. My advice for high school or undecided college students is to seriously consider a job in cyber. Not only are there plenty of job opportunities, but the mission of helping militaries around the world keep their citizens safe is unmatched by any other industry.



Sign the Petition Today

Cyber threats are increasing in frequency, scale, and sophistication. If you believe Florida’s business community and government must work together to address expanding cyber security threats, sign the petition today.



[1] Cybersecurity Ventures website

Military Summit Sponsor Unveils Future of Flight Training


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Florida Chamber Foundation Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunities Summit Sponsor Boeing, Partners with UCF to Unveil “Virtual Co-Pilots”

In case you missed it, Boeing and the University of Central Florida have developed new technology that will allow pilots to train with a virtual co-pilot, which will help streamline future pilot training.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) are crucial pieces to new and innovative technology. Orlando is a hub for innovations like this, thanks in part to partnerships between companies like Boeing and higher educational institutes like the University of Central Florida.

Will You Help Drive the Conversation on How Technological Advancements Can Ensure Florida Remains Globally Competitive?

We will be in Orlando discussing the importance of emerging technology and expanding industries with Florida’s top military and defense leaders as part of our 2017 Military, Defense and Veterans Opportunites Summit. Alongside Boeing, attendees will hear from industry leaders like Lockheed Martin, Harris Corp., Cybrix Group, FloridaMakes and the Florida Defense Contractors Association.

Providing Florida Students with Access to Real-World Learning Experiences

By Jennifer Cahill Erbacher, Senior Director of Media and Public Relations, Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Thirty high school students from Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington, FL, had a chance to connect their learning to the real-world on Feb. 17 as part of National Engineers Week. The students, who are all involved in their school’s Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Engineering Program, visited Lockheed Martin’s Palm Beach manufacturing facility where the company designs, manufactures, integrates, and tests manned and unmanned Underwater Vehicles for military and commercial customers around the world. For the students, it was a critical opportunity to understand how a world-leader in engineering applies the very concepts and skills the students are learning in their PLTW program, and engage in career exploration for their futures.

Lockheed Martin has partnered with PLTW across the country, providing more than $6 million since 2013 to fund schools’ PLTW programs, mentoring students, and providing real-world learning experiences like the one with Palm Beach Central H.S. students.



Over 300 schools across the state offer PLTW’s hands on, project-based learning in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science, as well professional development for teachers. There are opportunities for all companies to partner with these schools on internships, mentoring, classroom speakers, and field trips. Doing so is not only beneficial to students, but provides value to companies as they expose students to job opportunities and help them develop the knowledge and skills employers need in a rapidly evolving technical world. To find a PLTW school in Florida near you, visit PLTW’s School Locator.