SACRAMENTO – As more threats to California move to the online world, preparing and cultivating highly skilled professionals to lead cybersecurity efforts has become a major focus for California. Today, Homeland Security Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Mark Ghilarducci, announced California’s participation in an innovative cybersecurity training partnership with the SANS Institute, a cybersecurity training and certification provider to public and private organizations.

Cal OES, along with California Department of Technology, and California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development will support the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and identify talented young women across California ready to accept the challenge. Known as GirlsGoCyberStart, this initiative encourages high school-age females to explore their interests in cyber studies, learn core cybersecurity skills, and build confidence in the complexities of cyber problem-solving. This is the second year of the GirlsGoCyberStartprogram. Last year, more than 6,500 young women from 16 states participated in the program.

GirlsGoCyberStart is a free online program open to all female students in grades 9 through 12, regardless of prior knowledge or experience with cybersecurity and information technology. Students play the program’s games alone or in teams and solve challenges to gain points and advance levels while earning prizes along the way. In addition to individual prizes, such as trips, gift certificates, and computers, the three in-state schools with the most participants will win monetary prizes.

To learn more about GirlsGoCyberStart, please visit https://www.girlsgocyberstart.com/

California’s government provides services that millions of people across the state rely on. Imagine what would happen if those systems fell victim to a cybersecurity attack.

Government officials spend a lot of time thinking about that scenario and are committed to supporting programs and events that help train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. One such event, the California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC) receives critical support from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, (GO-Biz), California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California Department of Technology.

One such event, the California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC) receives critical support from the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, (GO-Biz), California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) and the California Department of Technology.

The California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC), a program of the California Cyberhub, utilizes cyber competitions to spread awareness about cybersecurity and the many career opportunities that exist within that field. CMCC brings Students, parents, teachers, government officials, business leaders, and other stakeholders together to create awareness of cybersecurity issues and reinforce the connection between community and our education institutions to highlight the many career and business support resources available in each community.

This annual cycle of activity culminates in a statewide competition with students located in 12 regions throughout California competing simultaneously, on behalf of their home city, for regional perpetual trophies that will be displayed in the winning team’s city hall for the coming year.

Mario Garcia 2018 Kick-off

At this year’s CMCC on February 23, California Department of Technology Director Amy Tong will address students and community members in Sacramento at the event’s closing ceremonies. Mario Garcia, Commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center, will kick off the event across the state in a video conference to more than 270 teams comprised of 1300 competitors and representing 150 cities, teachers, coaches and community members.

Garcia said events like the CMCC are critically important to build the pipeline of cybersecurity workers needed throughout California, across the U.S. and around the world.

“Cybersecurity is the number one threat nationwide: it impacts every government entity, business, educational institution, and each one of us personally. California Cyberhub is helping to unify California’s efforts to fill over 35,000 open cybersecurity jobs by encouraging the development of cyber education and cyber competition opportunities.,” Garcia said.

He also had a message to the students themselves.

“Those opportunities are just waiting for you to get involved, get prepared, and graduate. Hurry up, we need you!”

Tong said the CMCC and other cyber events are important parts in the pathway from middle and high school through college and into the cybersecurity workforce.

“We are helping to create a recruitment pipeline that starts in K-12 and continues through community college and the university level,” Tong said. “We want to help students see themselves as public servants.”

Eileen Sanchez, chief defense industry cybersecurity resilience and innovation program manager for GO-Biz, said business support for events like the CMCC is critical as innovations continue to push the boundaries of technology and create new cybersecurity threats in the process.

“California businesses need next generation cybersecurity leaders and entrepreneurs to protect everything from our personal health data, to our defense and aerospace innovations, to the development of autonomous vehicles,” Sanchez said. “The California Mayors Cyber Cup demonstrates California’s commitment to educate and encourage young cyber professionals in order to fill 37,000 open cybersecurity positions.”

CMCC this year will help add 1,000 cyber teams and develop supporting cyber education programs across the state, including more teams in rural and economically-depressed areas. Many CMCC events are held at community colleges and CSUs with the intention of highlighting cybersecurity degrees, certificates and cyber career resources offered at California’s education institutions.
For more information about the California Mayors Cyber Cup, visit https://cyber-guild.org/cmcc2019.

About California Cyberhub

The California Cyberhub is an initiative hosted at SynED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on bringing innovation to education and workforce development. The California Cyberhub initiative is made possible by a collaborative effort of volunteers and funding from California public education, government and business. Supporters include the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, Community College Regional Consortiums, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Education and countless volunteers and champions across the state. For more information about the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org.

About GO-Biz

GO-Biz serves as the State of California’s leader in job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and more.
About Cal OES

California is prone to earthquakes, floods, significant wildfires, prolonged drought impacts, public health emergencies, cybersecurity attacks, agricultural and animal disasters, as well as threats to homeland security. Cal OES takes a proactive approach to addressing these risks, threats, and vulnerabilities that form the basis of our mission and has been tested through real events, as well as comprehensive exercises that help us maintain our state of readiness and plan for and mitigate impacts.

About the California Department of Technology

The California Department of Technology is committed to partnering with state, local government and educational entities to deliver digital services, develop innovative and responsive solutions for business needs, and provide quality assurance for state government Information Technology (IT) projects and services. The Department’s “Vision 2020” Strategic plan is to create one digital government delivered securely by a dynamic workforce.

Once again, this year, California’s cyber athletes will be well represented at the annual CyberPatriot XI National Finals later this spring.

Eighteen of the 28 middle and high school teams competing at the national level this year will be from California, setting up the state to deliver another year of strong competition results. The following teams will represent California at the national competition:

Open Division

  • “Purge Everything” – Cerritos High School, Cerritos
  • “CyberAegis Chobani” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
  • “Cyber Aegis Thanatos” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
  • “Cyber Aegis Zelos” – Del Norte High School, San Diego
  • “Mendenhall” – North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood
  • “Team #1” Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, Rolling Hills Estates
  • “Troy Tech Support” – Troy High School, Fullerton
  • “11-0248” – Troy High School, Fullerton

All Service Division

  • “Varsity” – Scripps Ranch High School, San Diego (AFROTC)
  • Fullerton Composite Squadron 56, Fullerton (CAP)
  • “Cyber Warriors 1,” CyberD3lta,” “11-0325” – Troy High School (JNROTC)
  • “Silicon Seas” – 121ENT NSCC Bay Area Unit, San Mateo (US NSSC)
  • “Spartans” – US NSCC Sacramento Division, Roseville (US NSSC)

Middle School Division

  • “CyberAegis Kronos” – Design 39 Campus, San Diego
  • “CyberAegis Aether” – Oak Valley Middle School, San Diego
  • “CyberAegis Chaos” – Oak Valley Middle School, San Diego

All three of the teams competing in the middle school division are from California, as are all three teams in the JNROTC category of the All Service Division.

What makes California such a CyberPatriot powerhouse? Coaches cite the dedication among students and a push by educators and administrators to give cyber competitions the same standing as other middle and high school sports.

“I think the main thing that makes our teams unique is their veracity towards learning computer science and cybersecurity concepts,” said Toledo Ferdinand of Scripps Ranch High School. “They are entirely self-taught and never seem lacking in motivation to study, practice, and learn — if they do worse than they wanted, it only serves to motivate them more; they thrive on competition.”

Teamwork also plays a key role. Students work together not just at CyberPatriot competitions, but also at the California Mayors Cyber Cup and cyber camps held throughout California each summer.

CPX Open Champs and All Service

“Our team has a set of values that is always geared toward inclusion and helping others by setting the example even when things go wrong or are challenging and are constantly working to ensure that they focus on the “the how as much as the what,” said Hassan Twiet, cyber coach at Palos Verdes High School.

Allen Stubblefield, cyber coach at Troy High School, said the support cyber teams receive from their school districts and other partners also plays into California’s winning formula for success
“Every state has great students, but California has many schools with the right combination of computer resources, passionate coaches and supportive administrators,” Stubblefield said. “New students are welcomed, and we try hard not to say ‘no’ to students who want to try this for the first time.”

That support is desperately needed as California’s educators, business leaders and government officials work together to solve current and future cybersecurity risks and build a future ethical workforce.

“It is my hope to one day see the technical contents of CyberPatriot and other cyber defense activities become part of the standard curriculum in middle/high school just like reading and mathematics,” said Carlos Villegas of Cerritos High School. “We desperately need it. The lack of basic cybersecurity skills across all domains in our society is an existential threat.”

California Cyberhub Community Manager Donna Woods said the continued success of these teams exemplifies the collaborative mission of the Cyberhub and its members. Hundreds of advisers, mentors, teachers and coaches worked together to support students throughout the competition.

“Our California Cyberhub team wishes the best of success to all the teams representing California at CyberPatriot Nationals,” Woods said. “We are truly proud of the exemplary level of dedication and commitment given by all the teams competing this year.”

At last year’s CyberPatriot X National Finals, Team Togo from North Hollywood High School won the national championship in the Open Division, Team Cyber Warriors from Troy High School in Fullerton won the national championship in the All Service Division, and Team CyberAegis Cancer Minor from Oak Middle School in San Diego won the national championship in the Middle School Division.

CyberPatriot National XI Finals will be held April 7-11 in Baltimore. For more information, visit https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/.

About CyberPatriot

CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Education Program. At the center of CyberPatriot is the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company.

About California Cyberhub

The California Cyberhub is an initiative hosted at SynED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on bringing innovation to education and workforce development. The California Cyberhub initiative is made possible by a collaborative effort of volunteers and funding from California public education, government and business. Supporters include the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, Community College Regional Consortiums, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Education and countless volunteers and champions across the state. For more information about the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org

As society becomes more dependent on connectivity, the threats to our personal information and larger infrastructure systems, like our power grids, increase. Those threats are making cybersecurity one of the country’s fastest growing sectors. Official estimates show the industry’s job growth at 28 percent until at least 2026 and at the beginning of last year there were an estimated 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the U.S.

On Friday, February 23, students from across the state will compete in The California Mayors Cyber Cup(CMCC), an event to raise awareness about cybersecurity and the employment opportunities in that field. More than 270 teams composed of 1,300 middle and high school students will represent 150 California cities. The competition will take place simultaneously in 12 locations from Butte County to San Diego and bring together stakeholders including students, parents, educators, public and private sector leaders to help build California’s future cybersecurity workforce.

The event is hosted by California Cyberhub, an online organization dedicated to creating a workforce of ethical cybersecurity experts in California, with support from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

“We are pleased to support this very important program that not only addresses the ongoing workforce needs of the industry, where demand for trained and qualified professionals will only continue to increase,” said Sheneui Weber, vice chancellor of workforce and economic development for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “Cybersecurity careers also provide a great path for our students, leading to many well-paid and portable jobs and will also help address the workforce diversity issue for this industry.”

The competing teams will work to solve a cyber-threat scenario based on real information. The winning teams will be awarded trophies that will be displayed in their hometown city halls. The competition also kicks off a yearlong cycle to create new cyber teams focusing on rural and economically depressed regions. The goal is to support and encourage development of cyber education programs across the state.

“Cybersecurity is the number one threat nationwide: it impacts every government entity, business, educational institution, and each one of us personally,” said Mario Garcia, commander of the California Cybersecurity Integration Center. “California Cyberhub is helping to unify California’s efforts to fill open cybersecurity jobs by encouraging the development of cyber education and cyber competition opportunities.” Garcia will kick off the event through a video conference with the participants.

After the competition and awards presentation, the participants will hear from industry leaders about career opportunities to encourage the students to continue their educational and career pathway in cybersecurity.

Garcia shared a message for California’s students, saying “Those opportunities are just waiting for you to get involved, get prepared, and graduate. Hurry up. We need you!”

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The tech skills gap is creating a cybersecurity gap.

  • Nearly half a million cybersecurity workers are needed in North America, and nearly 3 million worldwide.
  • Almost a quarter of companies surveyed say they have a “significant shortage” of cybersecurity staff.
  • According to Norton Security, it takes a U.S. company nearly 200 days on average to identify a data breach.

According to a recent cybersecurity workforce study, nearly half a million cybersecurity workers are needed in North America, and nearly 3 million worldwide.

In the report, almost a quarter of companies surveyed say they have a “significant shortage” of cybersecurity staff. About 60 percent believe they’re at some risk for an attack because of a lack of staffing.

“The reason we have so many security problems is because we’re not teaching all the other tech people enough about security,” professor at UNCC’s College of Computing and Informatics Bill Chu said. “The problem would be much better if the people who build those technology build them securely.”

According to Norton Security, it takes a U.S. company nearly 200 days on average to identify a data breach, and a breach on average costs a company almost $8 million.

Secure the most sensitive workloads. Shape the future of computing.

If you’re a developer, security researcher, or otherwise interested in developing apps that use confidential computing, this is your chance to make an impact in this growing field. Google Cloud, in collaboration with Intel, is hosting the Confidential Computing Challenge to generate new ideas in the future of computing.

Your ideas could help shape the way the industry thinks about confidential computing and its potential to protect the most sensitive workloads in the public cloud. Confidential computing aims to encrypt data and code while in use, and we want to see how you think confidential computing can be used in real world applications. Your input could help influence improvements or features to Google products and services in the future.

See the full contest details here: https://cloudplatformonline.com/Confidential-Computing-Challenge-2019-Reg.html

Any team of students can benefit from a little support and recognition — whether it’s football players on the field, runners rounding the home stretch of the track, or cyber competitors working on protecting an organization from a cyber attack.

The California Mayors Cyber Cup, coordinated by California Cyberhub and hosted at various regional venues, allows students from 12 regions throughout California to complete simultaneously on behalf of their home city for regional perpetual trophies that will be displayed in the winning team’s city hall for the coming year. In the process, they are learning skills that are essential to obtaining high-paying careers and filling the growing need for a future ethical cybersecurity workforce.

The student cyber athletes receive tremendous amounts of support from their coaches, mentors, teachers, and community members who create a positive, celebratory atmosphere at each event to recognize the hard work that goes into training to become future cyber heroes.

Kevin Spease, President and CEO cybersecurity consulting company ISSE Services, attended the CMCC last year to cheer on the team from Toby Johnson Middle School in Elk Grove. He said the right combination of competition and support creates both short-term success and long-term change.

“The California Mayors Cyber Cup is a fantastic event, and it’s great to be able to connect students with other areas or other schools in California,” Spease said. “We become our best selves when we learn how to complete, and this event allows students to display their talents and have fun while learning.”

The CMCC also allows businesses to demonstrate how cyber education can lead to jobs that are both in-demand and intellectually engaging. Claire Jefferson-Gilpa, IT account education manager at ConvergeOne, also attended last year’s event and is looking forward to seeing it grow even more this year.

“Cyber education is an essential building block to create the pipeline of talent needed to drive industry, innovate to solve solutions and protect our communities,” Jefferson-Gilpa said. “ConvergeOne is proud to invest in the youth within our community.”

The California Mayors Cyber Cup will be held February 23 in 12 regions across California. For more information, visit https://cyber-guild.org/resources/mayors-cyber-cup/.

About California Cyberhub

The California Cyberhub is an initiative hosted at SynED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on bringing innovation to education and workforce development. The California Cyberhub initiative is made possible by a collaborative effort of volunteers and funding from California public education, government and business. Supporters include the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, Community College Regional Consortiums, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Education and countless volunteers and champions across the state.

For more information about the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org.

About ISSE Services

ISSE Services enhances the security and resilience of its customers enterprises by defending, mitigating and securing their systems, networks and infrastructure against cyberattacks. The company is committed to providing dependable and reliable cybersecurity services. For more information, visit isse-services.com.

For more information about ISSE Services, visit https://isse-services.com.

About ConvergeOne

Founded in 1993, ConvergeOne is a leading global IT services provider of collaboration and technology solutions for large and medium enterprises with decades of experience assisting customers to transform their digital infrastructure and realize a return on investment. Over 11,000 enterprise and mid-market customers trust ConvergeOne with collaboration, enterprise networking, data center, cloud and cybersecurity solutions to achieve business outcomes. For more information, visit, convergeone.com.

For more information about ConvergeOne, visit https://www.convergeone.com.

California Cyberhub Collaboration Model

Starting a cyber team involves hard work and dedication under normal circumstances. New coaches need to make arrangements with their schools, recruit students, and begin building community partnerships.

Now imagine trying to do all of those things while your community is recovering from devastating wildfires.

That’s the situation computer science teacher Edwin Kang found himself in last fall, but he did not let it stop him from creating several new teams at Ukiah High School.

The Ukiah area was impacted by the Mendocino Complex Fire in August 2018, and then again by the Camp Fire in October 2018.

“There was still smoke around when we came back to school the first week … it really lowered morale and made it hard to get back into the swing of things,” Kang said.

Over time though, Kang began to revive his existing robotics teams and see the potential to expand into cyber competitions. Ukiah High School is excited to compete in the California Mayors Cyber Cup for the first time later this month.

To help with his new teams, Kang is turning to a seemingly unlikely source.

“I’m getting the football coach to help me with a second team,” Kang said. “He has very little technical background, but he but knows how to coach and wants to work with kids as much as he can.”

Originally from Los Angeles, Kang has worked at Ukiah High School since 2014. Before that, he taught computer science at nearby Potter Valley High School. He became interested in cybersecurity after the Mendocino County Office of Education asked him to teach a course on “hacking the news” following the 2016 presidential election.

His passion had always been robotics, but he quickly saw the demand for quality cybersecurity education and learned about the resources available through the California Cyberhub to make it happen.

“Cyber education needs to be developed in middle school high school, and even a basic understanding in elementary school,” Kang said. “It’s becoming more and more relevant every day for all of us, and it’s becoming easier than ever to learn through things like the IT fundamentals program.”

Kang spends summers teaching at SMASH Academy, a STEM-intensive residential college prep program for students from underserved communities. SMASH Academy has locations across the country; Kang teaches at UC Berkeley.

“I live with them for five weeks in the summer and travel with them throughout the Bay Area,” Kang said.  “At the end of the summer, students leave with a portfolio they can use for scholarships, internships, and jobs.”

Kang remains passionate about robots and continues to advise Ukiah High School’s robotics team, which visited Google’s headquarters earlier this year. Moving forward, he sees opportunities for collaboration between robotics and cyber competitions.

“I am deeply passionate about fostering the next generation of responsible and ethical digital citizens,” Kang said. “Everything we’re doing in STEM, cyber, and robotics is part of that.”

The best work happens when people come together to build things that are greater than the sum of their parts. For the past two years, educators, business leaders, local and state governments and elected officials in California have been doing just that to transform cybersecurity education and create a future ethical workforce through the California Cyberhub.

The California Cyberhub is a virtual, neutral, nimble online organization that is a collaboration of public higher education, K-12, government, business and military. Its mission is to expand cyber training in California by identifying and promoting best practices and encouraging participation in cyber competition.

As a result, the California Cyberhub developed the California Mayors Cyber Cup (CMCC)program. CMCC is an annual cycle of community-based cybersecurity awareness, cyber career promotion and cyber team development. That work culminates in 12 simultaneous regional competitions held as one event each February to celebrate the shared participation in this effort.

CyberSecurity Team

Student teams from cities in each region compete for a perpetual trophy that is displayed at the winning team’s City Hall in the coming year. The events provide an opportunity for elected officials and community members to witness the energy and enthusiasm that comes with cybersecurity education.

CMCC competitions also bring in the business community and allow business leaders to meet the students who are embarking on a career path that will provide high-paying jobs and meet the increasing demand for skilled cyber professionals to protect the infrastructure of our communities and country.

Beyond the CMCC, the California Cyberhub encourages regional communities to sponsor summer cyber camps, while providing resources for certification testing, such as CompTIA’s IT Fundamentals. The California Cyberhub also hosts the California Cyber Competition Teams Guild, a community of California cyber teams and their coaches.

Darlene Tarin, a senior at Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California, said participating in her schools cyber competitions and classes helped her become more focused at school, improve her grades and meet new friends from across the state.

“As an active member of the California Cyberhub, I have made friends in other high schools on cyber teams, and had the opportunity to learn from people all over California,” Tarin said. “My GPA went from a dismal 1.72, to consistently maintaining a 3.5. I am so grateful for this program and excited to graduate this year, and continue my cyber academic and career journey in college.”

Silas Shen caught the cyber competition bug at Troy High School and now studies Computer Information Systems at Cal Poly Pomona. He’s poised to land a stable, well-paying job after graduation and complete the pathway that started in high school and continued through college.

“I owe a majority of my technical and interpersonal skills to the opportunities that these cyber competitions have opened up for me,” Shen said. “I hope to one day give back to the community as it has graciously done for me.”

The California Cyberhub’s goal is to give cybersecurity competitions the same recognition as any other school team sport, with parents and peers cheering in the stands and the recognition that comes from winning the big game. This will help encourage more students to become involved and enter pathways to help fill the thousands of cybersecurity job openings across the country.

Scott Young, director of the California Cyberhub, said the collaborative approach is essential to driving the change needed to address large-scale problems like cybersecurity education.

“Success does not belong to an individual or an organization but to a collaboration of creative, passionate and driven partners working to the same end,” Young said.

This model of collaboration began in California but is scalable to any state or any country that wants to improve its cybersecurity education to meet workforce demand and give its young people skills that will set them up for a lifetime of professional success and personal growth.

 

About California Cyberhub

The California Cyberhub is an initiative hosted at SynED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on bringing innovation to education and workforce development. The California Cyberhub initiative is made possible by a collaborative effort of volunteers and funding fromCalifornia public education, government and business. Supporters include the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s office, Community College Regional Consortiums, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, the California Department of Education and countless volunteers and champions across the state.

For more information about the California Cyberhub, visit ca-cyberhub.org.