Cyber security has been at the forefront of American politics in recent months following high profile cyber security attacks like the Stuxnet worm and Aurora attacks. Those attacks underscored growing concern over the future of cyber security in the U.S. and the lack of native cybersecurity talent. Now a new multi-state competition is seeking to encourage U.S. teens to develop the kinds of cyber security skills needed in the workforce.
The Cyber Foundations competition is a creation of The U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), a national, public-private partnership focused on identifying and developing cyber security skills. It is open to students nationally, with registration open until February 18, with awards being issued at the state level.
Foundations competition was piloted in California, Maryland, and Rhode Island
and is now being officially launched, with a number of states conducting formal
campaigns to encourage schools and students to participate. USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 talented Americans to fill the ranks of cyber security professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.
The contest includes a collection
of timed quizzes covering areas like computer networking, operating systems, and system
administration. Students will be provided with tutorials and study materials in
advance to help them prepare for the contest taking place throughout March and
The top scorers from each school and
state will be announced April 30, earning prizes and awards, in addition to
various forms of recognition from ceremonies to meet and greets with government
officials and industry leaders.
Cyber Foundations is a collaboration between USCC, a division of the Center for Internet Security, and the SANS Institute, a computer and information security training organization.