San Antonio, Tech Hotspot
Austin gets the glory. But just an hour south, San Antonio, Texas, quietly dominates cybersecurity. Its sector bona fides date back to 1985, when the Air Force consolidated its electronic security mission there. Defense contractors followed, and then a former chip-manufacturing plant was converted into a sprawling National Security Agency outpost.
That planted the seeds, and dozens of cybersecurity startups thrive there today. But key companies–ThreatGuard, SecureLogix, Silotech, Innové–aren’t household names; they generally work in the shadows. “What you see on the news in a breach story is just the tip of the iceberg,” intones John Dickson, a former Air Force intelligence officer and principal of Denim Group, which helps banks and insurance companies build “more resilient” software. Local education programs help: University of Texas at San Antonio has three separate cybersecurity centers, including the nation’s top-ranked program–and the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, essentially the national championship for student cyberwarriors. Meanwhile, cyberattacks increase in frequency and severity, and global cybersecurity spending is growing by double-digits each year; it should top $1 trillion by 2021. All that demand will continue to work in San Antonio’s favor–and the fact that it may boast the nation’s highest rate of taco shops per capita doesn’t hurt either. –Tom Foster