Training the next generation of cyber security warriors

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DSC01329High School teachers spent four intense days in not your average type of boot camp. They participated in a CyberPatriot Boot Camp, the first of its kind at Honolulu Community College.

Over the course of a week teachers from ‘Aiea, ‘Iolani, Kaimuki, Leilehua, McKinley, MidPacific, and Scared Hearts Academy learned the basics of cybersecurity.  The participating schools also got further insight on what it takes to successfully compete in the National CyberPatriot Competition, a high school cyber defense competition that introduces and inspires students considering cyber security or other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career pathways.  Leilehua High and ‘Iolani School are past National finalists.

Other topics covered included the understanding the anatomy of a cyber attack, cryptography, digital forensics, networking and operating system hardening.

Industry professionals like, Michael Herr with Referentia and CyberPatriot expert imparted his knowledge with the group.  “Cyber security is one of the fastest growth areas in the job market today.  The CyberPatriots program is a great introduction into this career path at the high school level.  Students come in to the program with little or no knowledge of IT systems and they come out understanding how to defend and mitigate complex security breaches,” Herr shares.

Other industry speakers included Rodolf Sabalburo from the National Security Association, Sally Dunan a Cisco Academy Instructor Trainer at Honolulu CC, Chris Hecker from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jake Ross from Cyber Hui, Debora Nissenbaum from the Defense Information Systems Agency and Hal Corcoran from Kapi‘olani CC.

The conference was sponsored by a grant from the Cisco Networking Academy with additional support from Referentia, the Cyber Hui, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, and the Air Force Association. The event was organized by Aaron Tanaka, Professor in the Computing, Electronics and Networking Technology at Honolulu CC and Dr. Wayne Lewis, Professor and Cisco Academy Manager, who secured the grant from the Cisco Networking Academy.

Honolulu Community College has been approved as a Center of Academic Excellence for Information Assurance training as a 2-year (CAE-2Y) institution; the first in the State of Hawai‘i. CAE-2Y is a program sponsored by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

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