President Trump announced earlier this year that the moon is the next frontier for U.S. military operations. That means the technologies used to keep cyberspace secure now need to extend to the new cyber frontier in outer space.
High school students across California and other states are stepping up to the challenge by participating in cyber competitions and camps and starting down educational pathways that can lead to degrees and high-paying jobs. However, the current level of engagement is not nearly enough to meet the challenges that lie ahead with securing communications between the Earth and the moon.
SynED, a nonprofit that serves as a hub for cybersecurity education and their Cyber-Guild program, created initiatives like the California Mayors Cyber Cup and the Golden Ticket program to engage cyber teams in solving the challenge of tomorrow.
In this case, the Golden Ticket is an opportunity for up to 10 cyber teams to attend U.S. Cyber Camp in Huntsville, Alabama in the summer of 2020. Teams can win their ticket by completing the following activities by April 15, 2020:
- Recruit three new cyber teams. This is part of a larger Cyber-Guild effort and their VISION 1000, to create 1,000 new cyber teams in California by the end of 2020.
- Create an instructional video about a cyber topic like firewall setup or password policies
- Obtain an industry recognized certification, i.e., CompTIA, Cisco, EC Council, etc.
- Compete in at least two local Capture the Flag cyber events, and one formal regional or national cyber competition
- Provide “cyber hygiene” services to schools, church groups, or other community organizations
All teams that meet these criteria by April 15 will be eligible to win a Golden Ticket. Winners will be selected by a panel of business, government, and educational leaders in cybersecurity.
Cyber-Guild Director Liz Fraumann said the program’s goal is to foster what she describes as “power skills” like public speaking and making connections with the community. These skills are just as important as the technical knowledge required to build and maintain the nation’s cyberinfrastructure.
“We have a hard time protecting our data from Los Angeles to New York; how are we going to do this from the Earth to the Moon,” Fraumann said. “It’s going to take a new way of thinking and forward–thinking students who are now in high school. We need their skill sets to protect the next level of cyberspace.”
The Golden Ticket is currently being supported by San Diego Gas & Electric and FGS. Cyber-Guild seeks additional industry partners to sponsor the Golden Ticket. Funds will be used in support of all expenses relating to the Golden Ticket, and the winning teams attending the U.S. Cyber Camp.
For more information about sponsoring the program, contact Fraumann at [email protected].