We're in the middle of National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCASM). Week 2's theme was "Millions of Rewarding Jobs: Educating for a Career in Cybersecurity." According to a Ranstad North America report, as of 2016, there were approximately 3 million more STEM jobs than workers to fill them. So what can we, InfraGardNCR, do?
In response to our discussions with FBI Leadership at an InfraGardNCR Board Retreat a few years ago, your InfraGard Board of Directors decided to prioritize growing the next generation of cyber warriors. One of the ideas from that meeting, was running an annual Cyber Camp for high school students interested in developing this skill set.
For the past three years, we have had full classrooms of eager students in each or our InfraGardNCR cyber camps, which have included capture-the-flag (CTF) competitions with prizes for the winning team. The CTF involves dividing the students into teams and challenging each team to complete tasks, discover indicators of compromise, attack other teams' systems, and defend their own system. The competition allows students to apply the knowledge they gained throughout the course.
As a Board, we have made encouraging STEM education a priority through our annual Cyber Camp. But we are always looking to do more. That's where you, as members come in. Please consider how you can help...
Mentor an individual child or group of children
Offer ideas to your Board as to how we can further our Cyber Camp efforts and help close the highly troubling STEM skills gap
Financially support the chapter's Cyber Camp
Volunteer your facility for a potential tour for Cyber Camp
We know there are other camps and resources out there (many of which were highlighted through the National Cyber Security Alliance's awareness efforts for NCASM - check them out here).
The chapter's 2019 Cyber Camp will be held in July, tentatively in Arlington, VA. We hope to announce more information early in 2019. If you'd like to get involved in this effort, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the subject matter expertise and commitment of our members, InfraGardNCR is poised to be a valuable partner in ensuring our youth have the tools and training to make them the next generation of cyber warriors!