AUGUSTA, Ga. (WFXG) - The Georgia Cyber Center is constantly growing. Now, it’s even becoming a hub on a global level as it welcomed the Cyber Future Summit for the first time. There, global leaders met to discuss global cyber security priorities, especially post coronavirus pandemic.

Take it from former Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. “Well, anybody who comes into this facility and their first reaction is not wow, really has not comprehended the magnitude of what’s been done here.” He says the Georgia Cyber Center's ability to welcome experts across several fields for events like the Cyber Future Summit didn’t just happen overnight. “We did take some chances in the beginning because nothing had ever been done like this before.”

Deal feels this hub is only becoming more important with time. “We all knew we had something important, but we didn’t quite honestly know how important it was going to turn out to be. It’s one of those ideas that continues to mushroom, and that’s good for everybody.”

It’s something that can also be seen by the founder of Cyber Future Foundation. That's the same reason why the founder, Valmiki Mukherjee, decided to bring the annual summit here to Augusta.

“We have been wowed many times, but every time we discover a new place I’ve come to a position where I say we know it when we see it.” said Valmiki Mukherjee, Cyber Future Foundation Founder.

Participants and attendees both agree about the risk bad actors pose in cyber security. However, taking on those bad actors also means taking on other key cyber security issues too. Mukherjee says one of the biggest right now is a talent shortage.

“I cannot over emphasize the fact over 2.5 million jobs are vacant.  There will be 250,000 jobs that won’t be filled this year because we don’t have talent coming in.” said Mukherjee.

He says another big problem is constant attack on critical infrastructure. 

“Be it healthcare, be it energy sector, oil and gas, all of these are under attack.” said Mukherjee. 

In total, more than 50 speakers and about 5,000 virtual attendees took on these topics, hoping to find solutions together. While the event is now over, cyber security never ends.

However, after seeing the collaboration that has happened throughout the years, and at this summit, Gov. Deal feels confident about the future. “We are making progress.”

Deal also credits the Georgia Cyber Center for a lot of the growth in Augusta and the region. He tells FOX54 that he looks forward to seeing more investment, especially through academic institutions like Augusta University.

Copyright 2021 WFXG. All rights reserved.