Los Angeles to Expand Cyber Lab with Federal Grant

Expansion plans include an incubator that will make data available for students and developers.

Expansion plans include an incubator that will make data available for students and developers. Shutterstock


Connecting state and local government leaders

The lab, established last summer, is a public-private partnership aimed at protecting the city from hacker attacks.

The Los Angeles Cyber Lab, a public-private partnership that aims to promote cybersecurity and protect the city against hacker attacks, will expand its reach using a $3 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security.

The expansion will grow the lab’s capacity by developing a “universal, standardized platform for threat intelligence, analysis and sharing” that can be accessed for free by participating private-sector companies and government agencies.

“Each participant will automatically and seamlessly feed threats to the Cyber Lab, which will subsequently be analyzed, correlated and distributed to all participating members,” the city said in a news release.

The expansion will also include conferences, training sessions and the creation of an “innovation incubator” that will make the lab and its data available for students, researchers and product developers.

By 2020, city officials hope to also launch a cyber simulator with both physical and online space where entrepreneurs and product developers can enhance security tools by performing tests and forensic investigations, among other things.

"We learn more every day about the havoc that criminal hackers can wreak on our lives," Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. "This expansion ensures that L.A. will continue to lead with the urgency that is required to protect our financial, business, and personal information."

The nonprofit cyber lab launched in August 2017 with the goal of disseminating “information and intelligence based on analysis of more than 1 billion security-related events and over 4 million attempted intrusions into city networks per day,” according to the city’s website.

Membership in the organization is free for businesses and residents, and includes daily and weekly cybersecurity alerts. The lab is overseen by a board of advisors, led by Garcetti and consisting of government officials and leadership from more than 28 Los Angeles businesses.

The grant announcement came as the Department of Homeland Security kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month ahead of the November midterm elections. Computer security researchers last month identified a staggering number of vulnerabilities in voting machines across the U.S., but DHS officials have said they currently have “no indication that a foreign adversary intends to disrupt or election infrastructure.”

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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