Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. joined by Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., commander of the Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon; and other officials in a ceremonial groundbreaking marking the start of construction on the Army Cyber Command Complex at Fort Gordon, Ga., Nov. 29, 2016. (Photo by Bill Roche)

Gov. Nathan Deal had no sooner announced $50 million in funding to establish the Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta on Wednesday, Jan. 11, than he turned around on Thursday to announce that Dublin, Ireland-based Sysnet Global Solutions would invest $2 million in a contact center for its cybersecurity services to the payment industry in Brookhaven.

The Augusta announcement drew praise from a large number of public and private officials including Maj. Gen. John B. Morrison Jr., Army Cyber Center of Excellence and Fort Gordon commanding general; Brig. Gen. Joseph F. Jarrard, adjutant general, Georgia National Guard and Paul Bowers, chairman of Georgia Power.

The National Security Agency even issued a statement saying that the center “will allow our best and brightest from both the public and private sector, to develop critical relationships in an innovative and collaborative training environment.”

The facility is to focus on training, education, research and development and is to act as an incubator hub for cybersecurity startup companies.

It also is to partner with the University System of Georgia, the Augusta University Cyber Institute, the Technical College System of Georgia, local school systems, the Georgia National Guard, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, federal agencies and private corporations.

Maj. Gen. Morrison praised the selection of Augusta as the location for the center because “it takes full advantage of the National Security Agency’s growing relationship with Augusta University as well as the Army’s Cyber Center of Excellence on Fort Gordon, and the soon-to-be developed Army Cyber Command.”

The headquarters of the Army Cyber Command is to be located in a 324,000-square-foot facility at Fort Gordon that will be charged with defending the Army’s data network. The groundbreaking for the new facility took place in November.

With the financial industry so dependent on cybersecurity, Sysnet’s Global Solutions opening of a call center in the Atlanta area seems logical. “North America has always been a critical market for us and we have new initiatives that will commence in 2017,” Sysnet CEO Gabriel Moynagh said in an announcement.

Sysnet provides cybersecurity and compliance solutions that help businesses improve security and reduce risk.

The center is to hire 500 employees who will help merchants secure their businesses and maintain compliance with standards such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard. The center is to operate 24 hours a day and provide multilingual support.

Mr. Deal said that the announcement is the result of an economic development mission to Ireland.