Skip to main content

SAN ANTONIO’S NEW CYBER OPS HUB SETS NATIONAL STANDARD FOR COMMUNITY-BASED RESILIENCY

Alamo Regional Security Operations Center (ARSOC) strengthens around-the-clock collaboration between the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy to safeguard the community’s power company, municipal operations and other critical infrastructure.

12-10-2021

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – With mounting cybersecurity attacks around the world targeting critical infrastructure on a daily basis—including energy grids, manufacturing operations, telecommunications, transportation networks and other essential sectors—the Alamo City has created a national model by establishing a joint security operations center that zeroes-in on serving the urgent needs of local communities. This further raises San Antonio's standing as "Cyber City, U.S.A."—home to one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing concentrations of information security expertise.   

ARSOC-command-center

Today, City of San Antonio officials, along with CPS Energy and Port San Antonio leadership, formally launched the Alamo Regional Security Operations Center (ARSOC).

ARSOC and partner logos

The new 20,000-square-foot secure facility in the heart of Port San Antonio’s technology innovation campus allows municipal and CPS Energy security teams to work side-by-side and around-the-clock in an integrated space. As a result, the partners  will exchange information in real-time as they jointly monitor and thwart potential cyberattacks. Just like hospitals and fire stations, the modern facility even features dormitory rooms for staff to rest if their extended on-site presence is required in an emergency.   

The effort will also benefit smaller municipalities and other local governments throughout the region who can tap into the ARSOC's accelerated resource- and information-sharing capabilities. Many recent cyberattacks across the nation have been directed against smaller communities that have limited capacity to monitor and counter such threats; the ARSOC offers a regional collaborative model that others can follow.

ARSOC facility

The new facility at the Port is only a 10-minute drive from downtown—providing the ARSOC with significant strategic advantages such as proximity to other leading cybersecurity experts and potential collaborators. Among them are a wealth of nationally-important operations at the Port.

ARSOC location at Port SA

The ARSOC is located close to major private-sector and Department of Defense cybersecurity operations that are rapidly growing on the Port campus – allowing for greater collaboration among the region's experts. (map courtesy Port San Antonio)

The Port campus itself is already one of the nation’s principal cybersecurity hubs. In addition to the ARSOC, the 1,900-acre property is home to the 273rd Cyberspace Operations Squadron—part of the Texas Air National Guard which represents the U.S. Cyber Command's team tasked with supporting the 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber). The squadron also supports the State of Texas in responding to cyberattacks against local governments.

16th AF Cybers

The 16th Air Force (Air Forces Cyber) also maintains its headquarters on the Port campus and neighboring JBSA-Lackland, where its security operations center oversees the integrity of digital assets around the world. (photo courtesy U.S. Air Force)

Furthermore, numerous firms at the Port are rapidly expanding as they provide the latest cyber innovations to Department of Defense and an array of other public- and private-sector clients.

The ARSOC will also benefit from Port San Antonio's efforts to grow its innovation ecosystem and strengthen alignment with cyber-focused educational as well as research and development efforts. Central to these will be the upcoming Tech Port Center + Arena.  Once construction is completed in the spring of 2022, the new 130,000-square-foot facility will feature a 3,200-seat arena/conference venue, a publicly accessible industry showroom, and collaborative spaces where different industries can work together in the development of new applied technologies in cybersecurity and other disciplines. 

Innovation Center

The ARSOC will be located close to the Port's planned Innovation Center – providing City of San Antonio, CPS Energy and other cybersecurity experts a dynamic space to train and demonstrate new technologies that are protecting the region's critical infrastructure. (photo courtesy Port San Antonio/RVK Architects.)

The innovation center will provide ARSOC partners with a place to conduct training and public demonstrations to strengthen collaborations within the region, increase the public's understanding of critical infrastructure defense and serve as a showcase for new approaches and the latest best practices in cybersecurity that can be adopted by others.

It will also be an important platform to accelerate and significantly grow regional educational initiatives focused on cybersecurity—from innovative STEM programs for young people launched by Port-based San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology (SAMSAT) to advanced training for seasoned professionals within the U.S. Air Force and other entities. These types of initiatives will compliment ARSOC partners’ interests to continually develop the skills of their workforce while identifying new talent.

Future cyber warriors at SAMSAT

Area middle schoolers take part in educational programs at SAMSAT’s security operations center simulator in early 2020. The setting, which is very similar to the configuration of the ARSOC, provides students exciting, hands-on experiences and inspires them to follow educational and career paths as the next generation of cybersecurity talent.

In 2020 the San Antonio City Council approved $2.5 million in funding for construction of the ARSOC, which was supported with an additional $1.5 million in funding from CPS Energy. The Port is providing the facility at no cost for a 15-year term—a value of approximately $3 million.

 


SA mayor-ron-nirenberg

"This is a huge win for the City, CPS Energy, Port San Antonio, and citizens across our community. We’re excited not only because of what this new integrated asset will do to make San Antonio more resilient and secure in the face of cyber threats. The ARSOC’s innovative and collaborative approach also raises our profile as ‘Cyber City, USA’ and opens new doors of opportunity for our region’s top experts to lead by example and be a resource for others across our region and beyond.”

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg



Adriana Rocha Garcia

"The ARSOC is a terrific investment in our community’s near- and long-term future, and we are so proud of its location in the heart of Port San Antonio. Of special significance, the work that is taking place at the ARSOC mirrors programs already being developed by SAMSAT and other educational partners. Their proximity to one-another creates great synergies that further expose younger people to exciting technology career opportunities in our community—and helps inspire them to be the new generation of cyber defenders."

San Antonio City Councilwoman Dr. Adriana Rocha Garcia, whose District 4 includes the main Port San Antonio campus


Chris Alderete

“Our commitment at the Port is to keep growing and making strategic investments in a place that connects the dots by providing people across our community access to life-changing opportunities. This is why our Board has led and approved many important efforts to support careers, education and entrepreneurship for all San Antonians. In addition to providing $3 million in free space to ARSOC partners over the next 15 years, other investments have included half a million dollars a year to support innovative STEM programming at the San Antonio Museum of Science and Technology. And our $60 million investment in the upcoming innovation center will take our efforts to a whole new level.”

Port San Antonio Board Chair Chris Alderete


erik walsh

“With the ongoing and growing attempts by hostile domestic and foreign actors who seek to disrupt government and commercial digital assets, it is imperative that we are ever-vigilant and stay many steps ahead. The ARSOC empowers us to combine our strengths and take our work to the next level, as the City of San Antonio, CPS Energy and upcoming partners equally committed to serving and protecting the public work from a united front and a position of strength.”

San Antonio City Manager Erik Walsh



rudy-garza

"Protecting our critical infrastructure is a priority and vital to providing power to our community. The increasing cyberattacks across our nation, including the growing number of attacks targeting utilities, highlight the importance of remaining vigilant on this front. The ARSOC allows CPS Energy to partner and bring expertise and resources together to better prepare for and recover from security threats now and in the years ahead."

Interim CPS Energy CEO Rudy Garza



jim-perschbach

"In today’s world, it is essential that we safeguard the security of the increasingly interconnected systems that we all depend on. Establishing the ARSOC on this campus is another huge step in advancing our work to grow a technology innovation destination by increasing connectivity – both physical and virtual – so that our leading experts can work more closely than ever before in a joint effort to defend our community and our nation. We look forward to working side-by-side with the City of San Antonio and CPS Energy to support their new facility and to welcome future partners – from small local governments to expansive national operations – who will be able to greatly benefit from this innovative resource."

Port President and CEO Jim Perschbach



will-garrett

“San Antonio has an unparalleled cybersecurity ecosystem, bar none. It is fair to say that nowhere else in the nation can someone find the critical mass that already exists in our community plus ongoing alignment and creative collaborations between the commercial, defense and research sectors. On the educational side, we have outstanding initiatives that begin at the K-12 levels and extend to some of the most sophisticated university degrees, certification and training programs for seasoned professionals. Now, as we add the nation’s first truly integrated regional security operations center to our arsenal of capabilities, we have raised the bar in what it means to be a leading center of resiliency and expertise. We’re excited by the tremendous potential of this latest asset and the partnerships it will enable.”

Port San Antonio VP of Talent and Technology Development and Integration Will Garrett