Cyber Challenge Eyes High School Students

Competition Seeks to Identify Talented Students for Infosec Careers

By Information Security Media Group, January 31, 2011.
Cyber Challenge Eyes High School Students

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See Also: 'Black Friday' Cybersecurity Challenges for the Banking & Merchant Community

he organization behind last year's competitions aimed at getting college students and graduates interested in cybersecurity careers (read Can U.S. Cyber Challenge Competitors be Trusted? and see the video Searching for the Good Hacker) is setting its sights on high school students. The U.S. Cyber Challenge on Monday announced it will hold an online contest to identify talented high school students with the skills to pursue advanced education and job opportunities in the cybersecurity field.

Known as the Cyber Foundations competition, it will feature a series of timed quizzes for high school students to test aptitude in three foundational skills of effective cybersecurity: networking, operating systems and system administration. Students will be provided with tutorials and training materials to review in each of the three subject areas and then participate in a series of three quizzes taking place throughout March and April. Top scoring students in each school and state will earn recognition, prizes and/or awards for their achievements. Award recipients will be announced April 30.

U.S. Cyber Challenge says the high-school competition was piloted in California, Maryland and Rhode Island and is being officially launched with a number of states conducting formal campaigns to encourage schools and students to participate. The deadline for high school and student registration is Feb. 18. More information and registration details can be found at the Cyber Challenge website.

Several cybersecurity leaders in Congress endorsed the competition, including Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., who chairs a Senate subcommittee with cybersecurity oversight, and Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, whom House Speaker John Boehner tapped to identify a more efficient way Congress can address cybersecurity legislation.

Cyber Foundations is being conducted with the SANS Institute, a not-for-profit IT security education and research organization, which developed the curriculum and competition. U.S. Cyber Challenge is part of the Center for Internet Security, a not-for-profit that provides Internet security benchmarking and also oversees the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a consortium of local and state government IT security organizations.

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Also watch the video, Why the Cyber Challenge is Needed, an interview of U.S. Cyber Challenge National Director Karen Evans.
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