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January 20, 2016

HORNE Cyber Solutions selects Research Park for new office

Contact: Jim Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.--HORNE Cyber Solutions is the latest business operation to locate in the Thad Cochran Research, Technology and Economic Development Park, and Mississippi State officials are excited about the new investment.

"We are pleased to welcome one of the nation's top 50 accounting and business advisory firms to the Research Park, and believe it will be a productive partnership for HORNE, Mississippi State and the local community," said David Shaw, the university's vice president for research and economic development.

"As I have said before, there is nothing else like the park anywhere in Mississippi, and it is a tremendous economic development asset for our state," he added.

A subsidiary of HORNE LLP, HORNE Cyber Solutions was established with the firm's recent acquisition of Halberd Group, which was founded by three Mississippi State graduates Wesley McGrew, Kendall Blaylock and Brad Fuller who are now part of the HORNE team. (Learn more at www.hornecyber.com.)

Blaylock serves as director of information security, and McGrew serves as director of cyber operations. Both are nationally renowned for their work in cybersecurity and forensics. Fuller is serving as the director of client services. Located in the new office in the Ralph E. Powe Innovative Technology building, they will focus on information technology services for clients in the areas of cybersecurity, digital forensics, strategic advisory services, enterprise resource planning, regulatory compliance and IT assurance.

"Cybersecurity has quickly become one of the biggest risks in business today," said Executive Partner Joey Havens. "We are committed to providing the expertise and guidance necessary for our clients to be anticipatory in addressing these growing threats to their business, their clients, and their reputation. HORNE Cyber Solutions will provide services that include assessments, comprehensive penetration testing, risk mitigation, remediation and monitoring against these costly IT and data breaches."

HORNE will continue to hire talent in its new Starkville location, and current team members from locations across the Southeast have also transitioned into the new division, according to the firm.

The 272-acre Cochran Research Park is a joint venture of the City of Starkville, Oktibbeha County and the university, with the MSU Research and Technology Corporation responsible for day-to-day management.

"Developing the Research Park to its fullest potential is a cornerstone of our overall economic development strategy," said Kathy Gelston, MSU's associate vice president for corporate engagement and economic development.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and its Commission on Innovation, Competitiveness and Economic Prosperity have recognized Mississippi State as an Innovation and Economic Prosperity University for working to advance engagement and economic well-being of the state, region and nation. It is the only university in Mississippi to hold the prestigious designation, which requires an intensive review process.

"HORNE Cyber Solutions is an excellent example of the innovative businesses that are helping to transform the state's economy as we compete in a global, knowledge-driven marketplace," Gelston said.

"Moving forward, we believe that HORNE and other technology firms will benefit from Mississippi State's extensive cybersecurity research capacity and expertise," she said.

In 2014, the university's cybersecurity courses and degree programs were ranked among the nation's top three for academic excellence and practical relevance in a survey conducted by the Ponemon Institute.

Home to more than 1,500 employees, 10 buildings and a diverse lineup of tenants including private businesses, start-up companies, government offices and research centers and institutes learn more about the Research Park at cochranresearchpark.com or contact Director Marc McGee at mmcgee@research.msstate.edu or 662-325-9575.

MSU is Mississippi's leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.