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New Boeing center takes on cyber challenges

Boeing’s new Cyber Engagement Center had humble beginnings.

“Our original vision was a conference room with a couple personal computers, a couple screens,” said Roger Krone, president of Boeing Network & Space Systems.

But with cyberattacks against government and business customers increasing rapidly, Boeing determined it needed something bigger. The center, located in Annapolis Junction, Md., blossomed into a 32,000-square-foot facility packed with dozens of advanced computers, walls of large display screens and a suite of cutting-edge mobile devices.

“There are no more flat screens at Best Buy,” Krone joked. “We have consumed every big screen in Eastern Maryland.”

On Oct. 25, Boeing held a grand opening to unveil the center to government officials, industry partners and journalists. The center offers the convenience of one-stop shopping to customers who need to develop ways to better secure network applications, mobile environments and critical physical infrastructure.

“Every day, there are thousands of new threats that appear. This center provides a unique opportunity for us to enhance the public/private partnership that is essential to protect the critical interests that are currently being threatened.”

“Every day, there are thousands of new threats that appear,” said Dewey Houck, vice president and general manager of Boeing Information Solutions. “This center provides a unique opportunity for us to enhance the public/private partnership that is essential to protect the critical interests that are currently being threatened.”

The facility will also help protect Boeing’s own network.

“We have about 300,000 people that access the network every day,” said Kim Hammonds, Boeing’s chief information officer. “Our potential cyber attacks have increased about threefold since just last year. We have a lot of technical expertise both from a cybersecurity perspective, from a forensics perspective, that will be in here ensuring that we’re protecting The Boeing Company 24/7, 365 days a year.”

Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the center combines the best of Boeing technology and talent.

“This is a team that’s going to come up with new ways to innovate -- new cyber solutions that we don’t even know what they might look like today -- but we know that they will be exciting and they will change the world,” Muilenburg said.

To view a video report, click the image above.