AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — FORTUNE 500 company Leidos is lending its expertise to the growing cyber security community of Augusta by expanding its operation in the CSRA to the Georgia Cyber Center.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, Leidos leadership, were in Augusta for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new suite in the Georgia Cyber Center in downtown Augusta.
The company’s 44,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021.
Leidos expansion in Augusta, according to 85th Mayor of Augusta Garnett Johnson who was asked to speak prior to the ribbon-cutting, will bring 300 jobs to the area, many in the cybersecurity field.
According to Steve Hull, Executive Vice President for Enterprise and Cyber Solutions, part of the Defense Group at Leidos, this is the second location for Leidos in the Augusta area. During his remarks, he said that Leidos’ expansion to the Cyber Center is “a lot to think about” in terms of overall impact to the area and the cybersecurity field in the CSRA. Wednesday event, though, was only part of an overall trend and that Leidos was “looking to grow a lot more” in Augusta.
North Augusta Mayor Briton Williams was also a special guest during the ceremony, underscoring the Cyber Center’s impact not only to Augusta but to the growing cybersecurity industry footprint across the CSRA.
Leidos provides technology, engineering, and science solutions to solve the global challenges across the fields of defense, intelligence, civil, and health, with the company performing cyber, intelligence, and network operations through more than 400 locations spread across 30 countries with large offices in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Israel, Canada, and the Middle East.
Their Office in England and Scotland employ more than a thousand employees and their clients include the Ministry of Defence and the Home Office that is responsible for immigration, security, and law and order on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, as well as providing technology and programming support for the NATS in the United Kingdom, the nation’s leading provider of air traffic control services, and the Metropolitan Police Service for Greater London.
Michael Shaffer, Augusta University’s Executive Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Economic Development, pointed out during his speech welcoming Leidos to the space at the Georgia Cyber Center that while the company is the newest resident partner, they were also one of the first companies to partner with AU to develop their Bachelor of Science Cybersecurity Program in October 2016.
This was two years before construction started on what is now the downtown Georgia Cyber Center, Shaffer said, a facility that is not simply two high-rise office buildings but a collection of the experts inside, their skills and the companies they comprise.
Shaffer added, “What makes it special is who is in those buildings.”
In an interview Chief Technology Officer Jim Carlini conducted with Politico in 2019, Leidos’ international presence showcases its expertise in electronic warfare and providing hardware and software that can detect and defend against existing and emerging threats.
This includes applications that include security threat identification, biometrics, and advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence that increase the independence of air, space, and sea drones.
In terms of the diversity of application, software developed through Leidos was used by Moody Air Force Base to track Hurricane Dorian and, since 2019, has expanded to survey global weather emergencies and nuclear threat detection.
During his address to those gathered Wednesday, Shaffer said of Leidos’ addition to the cyber “ecosystem” currently incubating at the Georgia Cyber Center: “When you think about the government that’s here, the academia that’s here, and the industry here, they’re here to solve some of the most complex challenges that face our government and many of us across this world.”