CompTIA membership is also a two-way street. It’s not just about consuming, but also contributing – not just to the association, but more importantly to other members and the IT industry as a whole. Our members drive our programs through their participation in CompTIA communities, research studies, events, sharing of best practices and more. We draw on our members’ expertise and experience to shape our products and services. Each and every member brings something different to the table and it’s those unique characteristics that make CompTIA strong.

CompTIA membership is invaluable. Our vendor-neutral position toward the IT industry, coupled with our programs and communities targeted to specific verticals and market segments, allow us to craft highly customized products and services – a huge benefit to our members and organizations like your own.

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More populous states tended to have higher estimated losses, which WBE used FBI internet crime data and insurance statistics to predict. California grabbed the top spot with more than $329 million in potential losses, which is over $189 million more than New York’s predicted losses. Despite being home to multiple tech hubs, it seems more can be done to prevent cybercrime, the report said.

Here are the 10 states that are predicted to lose the most money to cybercrime, along with how much they’re slated to lose.

SEE: Security awareness and training policy (Tech Pro Research)

1. California – $329 million

2. New York – $139 million

3. Florida – $112 million

4. Texas – $96 million

5. Virginia – $64 million

6. Illinois – $42 million

7. Colorado – $40 million

8. Pennsylvania – $33 million

9. Georgia – $32 million

10. Washington – $32 million

Florida is seeing the biggest increase in reported cybercrime, with an average increase of 1,421 reports each year. The increase costs the Florida economy $4.3
million a year, the report found.

New York residents lose the most per reported attack, most likely losing $7,149 each time a resident is targeted. Here are the 10 states that would lose the most per complaint, along with how much each could cost.

1. New York – $7,149

2. Virginia – $6,795

3. Colorado – $6,106

4. California – $5,900

5. Oklahoma – $5,714

6. New Mexico – $5,587

7. Louisiana – $5,498

8. Montana – $4,688

9. Nevada – $4,501

10. Arkansas – $4,172

Michigan sees the most cybercrime, with 201 reports per 100,000 residents. Hawaii residents see the least, with 55 reports per 100,000 residents, the report found.

Cyber attacks could be costly if proper security protections aren’t in place. Businesses should review their security practices and take care any flaws or
vulnerabilities to reduce the potential costs.

Also see

Special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Guidelines for building security policies (Tech Pro Research)
Cheat sheet: How to become a cybersecurity pro (TechRepublic)
Ransomware surges again, as cybercrime-as-a-service becomes mainstream for crooksmainstream for crooks (ZDNet)
Report: Cyberespionage now most popular form of cybercrime in many industries (TechRepublic)



BTB was the first program in the nation to be awarded the status of Center of Excellence in 2012, and the program received the Vandenberg Award for excellence in science education two years later. BTB teams swept the 2017 California State Championship and have won three national medals. At least one BTB team has been invited to the national finals every year for seven years.

Two rounds of competition have been played and currently 33 BTB teams have advanced to the top-ranked platinum tier. Only platinum tier teams can qualify for the nationals. Though the teams from BTB represent only two percent of the total of teams from around the U.S., they currently hold 8 percent of the platinum tier slots.

Among the 33 BTB teams hoping for a seat to the finals is Team “Togo” from North Hollywood High School, who recently set the highest score in the nation. They are the defending national champions, and their goal is to return to the nationals and score an unprecedented back-to-back championship. The third round will be held on Jan. 20.

Beyond the Bell’s mission is to ensure that all children and youth in LAUSD have access to high quality, safe, and supervised academic, enrichment, and recreation programs that inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day.

For information, visit


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Richard Grotegut, Bay Area Deputy Sector Navigator for IT and Computer Science, facilitated the connections between K-12 education, community colleges, and industry that made the event possible. Irvin Lemus, a cybersecurity instructor at Cabrillo College and an instructor at the Western Academy Support and Training Center, created the challenges.

Lemus modified some of the challenges to fit this event and worked with the Bay Area Community College Consortium to host the challenge using NETLAB+. Students also had the opportunity to take a tour of Cisco’s facilities.

Lemus, who is also a CyberPatriot coordinator in the region, said that mix of skills required for success at capture the flag was a little different than what’s covered in CyberPatriot.

“They had to get out of their seats and ask people specific questions,” Lemus said. “They got to talk to people who worked at Cisco and learn more about what they do in their roles at the company.”

A team from Grenada High School won the capture the flag competition, followed by Amador Valley High School in second place and Castro Valley High School in third place. Irvington High School, Livermore High School, Saint Teresa High School and Fallon Middle School also participated in the event.

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Overall, students enjoyed the event and the opportunity to interact with representatives from Cisco.

“We wanted to have this event so that students from the Bay area could get a taste of what it looks like to work in IT,” Lemus said. “They loved doing the challenges and seeing the people who work in different areas of Cisco.”

Lemus said the Cisco Cyber Cup was one of many events happening to promote cybersecurity education in the Bay Area. He is hoping to partner with Cisco on hosting cyber campus this summer, building off the success that last summer’s cyber camps brought to the region.

And, she’s just getting started. West plans to expand the work she’s done in California to other parts of the country and develop a plan to engage women in technology long after they leave college.

‘No one had an answer for me’

West worked at the same company for nearly a decade before obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management. She became interested in IT after getting involved in a few projects at work and becoming more interested in computers and gaming at home.

Despite those interests, she struggled to find a master’s degree program that would allow her to pursue them. Her own struggles would later inspire her to become a mentor for others who are looking to pursue a career in cybersecurity.

“I went to my IT director, and I really asked a lot of people where should I go and what should I do. No one really had an answer for me,” West said. “I didn’t know what programs were out there and there was really no mentorship. What I deliver now to my students is what I couldn’t find.”

That mentorship comes in the form of Coastline’s Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program, which West runs in conjunction with Steve Linthicum, Deputy Sector Navigator for Information Communication Technologies and Digital Media in the Orange County Region.

Linthicum said West is the perfect person to lead the apprenticeship program and help recruit more women into it. He is committed to improving diversity in the field but realizes that he is not the best person to lead those efforts.

“If you’re looking for a mentor, you want someone who is like you and I don’t fit that role very well for recruiting women into the field,” Linthicum said. “Tobi demonstrates that this is a profession that women can do and do a very good job at. She’s someone who investigates and tries to figure things out and look under the covers to see what’s really going on.”

One of those students described her experience finding the program and interacting with West, who helped her prepare for a Cyber Expo event and prepare to find a job in the cybersecurity field.

“I searched for ‘him’ Professor Tobi West and was shocked to see a beautiful stunning lady instead,” the student said. “Professor West has been an inspiration to me from day one.”

Teacher, mentor, organizer

West began teaching at Cal Poly Pomona after completing her master’s degree. She’d always wanted to teach but thought she needed a Ph.D. to do it. She was pleasantly surprised to learn that she could use her professional experience to help others find the same passion for cybersecurity and have a broader impact on the community.

“My job at that time didn’t do anything with the community; it was all about the company’s bottomline,” West said. “I knew I had a lot of good stories to tell about what happened at work, with encouragement from Dr. Dan Manson, I applied at Cal Poly and got the position.”

That desire to serve the community lead to volunteering at CyberPatriot events at Cal Poly for students of Los Angeles Unified School District. She knew that Coastline wanted to host CyberPatriot events as well and thought she could devote some time to making that happen.

Thanks to West’s leadership, Coastline is a Center of Academic Excellence for Cyber Defense Education and part of the Southern California Cybersecurity Community College Consortium, which is the second largest CyberPatriot Center of Excellence in the U.S.

This past October, West organized the second annual CyberTech Girls OC event at Coastline. The event brought over 100 middle and high school-aged girls together for hands-on activities like a computer forensics crime scene, building a website about personal cyber wellness, and disassembling a computer. Girls also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Crowdstrike, Kaiser, NASA, Northrop Grumman, and several other organizations.

“The idea behind CyberTech Girls is that engagement in cybersecurity education has to start early, in middle school,” West said. “If we don’t have that diversity of thinking in boardrooms and product design, we aren’t going to beat the problem.”

Though West has done a lot of work organizing cybersecurity events for girls, she realizes that events alone are not enough to translate into careers. Moving forward, she plans to add

additional mentoring opportunities to foster deeper connections that will withstand the peer pressure that young women in the technology field face.

“I want to have that wrap-around so girls have something after the program,” she said. “Right now, they just come to the event and it’s over, unless they join our CyberPatriot program.”

Breaking the glass ceiling

Professor West and California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods collaborate on efforts to bring more young women into cybersecurity. They also share a bond because they’ve both had to overcome some of those same obstacles that they see their students face.

“We had that higher glass ceiling we had to break through as women in this field,” Woods said. “I look up to her as an educator. It’s not often that we get to see women of her caliber and her knowledge. She has a great vision for promoting females in STEM and cyberscience.”

Woods also appreciates how transparent and accessible West is when working with students. She’s able to translate information in a way that students can easily understand without watering down concepts so much that the meaning of them is lost.

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then West is in for a lot of flattery with the program she’s created. She’s working with Woods to expand the CyberTech Girls model to other parts of California. She also hopes to expand to other parts of the country, through her business CyberTech West.

“Tobi has created an incredible program at Coastline and we hope to emulate what she’s done in Orange County,” Woods said.

West is already starting to think beyond the high school and college pathways about how to retain women in cybersecurity jobs once they enter the workforce. She would like to begin tracking young women who compete in CyberPatriot and other cyber competitions to keep an eye on where they go after the competition ends.

“Let’s say that we are successful in getting women into this field, how do we make sure we keep them there? Right now we don’t have any tracking, so there’s no evidence that this event is meaningful,” West said. “I would love to enter a doctoral program to develop a tracking system for cybersecurity competition data to understand how these competitions impact future careers.”


The CyberPatriot competition is one key initiative for the California Cyberhub, a collaboration of public education and industry that is compiling a central library of resources and encouraging support for cybersecurity competitions around the state.

The results of that collaboration are evident in the CyberPatriot performance.

After two rounds of competition in the fall, California students represent six of the 10 teams in the Platinum Tier and seven of the 10 teams in the Gold Tier. Many of the state’s CyberPatriot teams are in the Silver Tier and hold numerous spots among the top 100 teams in each division.

Additionally, the California teams in the All-Service Division (teams that are lead by ROTC or other military organizations) held seven out of the top 10 scores with a strong showing from Navy ROTC teams throughout the state.

“We are truly excited about the overall advancement of our California middle school CyberPatriot teams who hold top spots in the Platinum, Gold, and Silver Tiers,” said California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods. “We believe, based on the recent scores and the California Cyberhub usage, that there is a direct and distinct correlation to the increased successful, measurable outcomes.”

Beyond the competition, these students learning crucial skills that will help meet California’s growing demand for cybersecurity professionals in the workforce — currently at more than 45,000 jobs and counting.

The California Cyberhub brings together partners from K-12 education, higher education, government organizations and the cybersecurity industry to provide opportunities for middle and high school students to become interested in cybersecurity at an early age and begin a pathway that leads to a college degree.

All of those collaborations play a key role in CyberPatriot performance. Cyberhub partners provided Windows 7 and Ubuntu images for the competition within 48 hours of receiving a request. Those images have been downloaded nearly 15,000 times since the beginning of the school year.

“This success is a result of the work of the mentors, education partners, business partners and IT professionals who supported the yearlong endeavors of the California CyberPatriot teams,” Woods said.

The CyberPatriot State Round competition will be held Jan. 19-21. For more information on the California Cyberhub, visit