Credit: The Sacramento Bee

This article originally appeared on SacBee.com
BY TIM JOHNSON
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WASHINGTON - Want a career with zero chances of going jobless?

Try the booming field of cybersecurity. Companies can’t hire fast enough. In the United States, companies report 209,000 cybersecurity jobs that are in need of filling.

It’ll only get worse. By 2019, according to the Cybersecurity Jobs Report, the workforce shortfall may reach 1.5 million. Globally, the shortage could hit 6 million, it added.

“The internet is growing faster than the growth of people to protect it,” said Michael Kaiser, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

It is a problem with the full attention of the White House, which in July called for “immediate and broad-sweeping actions to address the growing workforce shortage and establish a pipeline of well-qualified cybersecurity talent.”

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools ROP, in partnership with Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy and San Bernardino Community College District is sponsoring up to twenty (20) teams to participate in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

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. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cyber security vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period. Teams compete for the top placement within their state and region, and the top teams in the nation earn all-expenses paid trips to Baltimore, MD for the National Finals Competition where they can earn national recognition and scholarship money.​

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot program has announced Southern California Cybersecurity Community College Consortium as its ninth CyberPatriot Center of Excellence.

CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among American youth. The Center of Excellence designation is awarded to communities and institutions that provide leadership and support to further the educational experiences of their students through the CyberPatriot program. CyberPatriot established the Centers of Excellence program in 2011, and has since then recognized eight other entities – Los Angeles Unified School District, the City of San Antonio, Spokane Public Schools, Rose State College (Okla.), Fairfax County Public Schools (Va.), STEMspark East Tennessee Innovation Hub, Huntsville City Schools (Ala.), and Lee's Summit R-7 School District (Mo.).

Seventeen middle- and high-schoolers gathered around computers in a classroom on Sierra College’s Nevada County campus — it was time to put their newly-acquired cybersecurity skills to the test with a friendly competition.

The four different teams of students had three hours to complete a myriad of tasks to make their computers more secure, including installing virus protection, putting a firewall in place, monitoring computer processes and setting different levels of permission for viewing certain folders.

“In information technology, no one person can know it all, so we rely on teams that can cooperate,” said Steve Hurley, an adjunct professor at Sierra College who was overseeing the competition.

The competition was the culmination of the three-day Air Force Association CyberCamp held on the campus from July 13-15. The camp was taught by Hurley, who teaches real estate and technology courses at Sierra College, and a group of adult volunteers. The goal of the camp, which was free and open to local students in grades 7-12, was to give students a hands-on introduction to the fundamentals of cybersecurity, from system hardening to access control to system protection.

CyberCamps are one of the programs run through the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program, which is designed to get students interested in careers in the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, fields.

More than 30 Sacramento area middle and high school students are taking part in a CyberCamp at American River College this week. They're learning network security skills to defend against computer viruses.

One of the organizers of the camp is Steve Linthicum, a cybersecurity professor at Sierra College in Rocklin.

"We have such a shortage of cybersecurity professionals that what we're working hard on is introducing students at middle schools and high schools to cybersecurity," says Linthicum, "with the hope that they would move into the community colleges and ultimately become cybersecurity professionals and join the workforce."

Linthicum says the curriculum includes teaching students cyber safety and network security skills.

On July 11, San Bernardino Valley College kicked off its first-ever CyberCamp for local middle-schoolers, high-schoolers, parents, and teachers. Taught by Dr. Roger Powell of SBVC’s computer science department, the camp teaches students cyber safety, cyber ethics, and critical network security skills and tools, which will give them a head start in their college-level studies and an early career advantage in the highly sought-after cybersecurity field. The CyberCamp will culminate on Friday with an exciting team-based competition that puts the campers in the role of IT administrators tasked with finding and addressing cybersecurity vulnerabilities in simulated network environments. Students will also be encouraged to pursue their computer science education at San Bernardino Valley College as soon as they are college-ready. Way to go, SBVC!

Regards,
Alan Braggins
Deputy Sector Navigator
Information Communications Technology/Digital Media

A team of high school students from Valencia High School in Placentia, California recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Read the entire press release here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

3/8/16

Valencia High School CyberPatriot Team Wins 1st Place West Region Award

A team of high school students from Valencia High School in Placentia, California recently concluded an exceptional round of competition in the eighth season of CyberPatriot – the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.

Established by the Air Force Association, the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program was created to excite, educate, and motivate students toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation’s future.

ORANGE, CALIF. – February 25, 2016 – Canyon High School seniors Megan Han and Christine Trinh competed in the Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot Regional Competition this past Saturday at Coastline Community College in Garden Grove. This is their fourth round of competition as one of three teams that moved on from the state level.

During the competition, Han and Trinh were given virtual images of Windows 7, Windows 8 and Linux (Ubuntu) and tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities in the operating systems (OS) and securing them. They spent six hours in a room with four computers as their coach looked on from another room. Points were earned for each issue discovered in the OS image, with a maximum of 100 points per image for a total of 300 points. The team is now waiting to hear their final placement score on their tier level, Silver.

Teacher/Coach Linda Dewberry stated, “Megan and Christine are two of the most dedicated students I've come across. They spend hours upon hours during the week and on weekends training on various operating systems and learning to script, just to be able to participate.”

Hackers, beware. These techies will stop you in your tracks.

Fountain Valley-based Coastline Community College hosted a nationwide CyberPatriot cyber defense competition on its Garden Grove campus Jan. 30. More than 100 students from Orange County high schools and middle schools showed off their skills at securing Windows and Linus operating systems.

Teams were given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and were tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and guarding the system while maintaining critical services in a six-hour period.

CyberPatriot is is a youth educational program sponsored by Northrop Grumman Foundation.