Arlington, VA, July 29, 2016 – Yesterday morning, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) hosted the Cybersecurity Competitions Event in Washington, D.C. and invited participants from the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC), CyberPatriot and Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) to attend. Those in attendance from U.S. Cyber Challenge included National Director Karen S. Evans and 2016 Capture-the-Flag winners Wendy Edwards, Michael Baccia, John Lohrentz, Nicholas Bruno, Chase Lucas, Louis Tomczak, and Nathan Wray. Alex Levinson, a USCC alum from 2010, also participated as one of the speakers. The workshop focused on the importance of cybersecurity competitions in the building of workforce talent nationwide. This gathering of competition programs timely follows the release of the Federal Cybersecurity Workforce Strategy on July 12, 2016.
“It was interesting to hear varying perspectives on cyber competitions and the value we place on them,” said Michael Baccia, one of the CTF winners from the USCC camp in Illinois this past June. “Another thing discussed that I had not even thought of was the lack of metrics available to evaluate individuals on these teams. How can we evaluate someone’s effectiveness on a team? Do we value the team player or the ‘star’?” For the USCC, specifically, camp participants are initially evaluated and accepted to the program based on their individual skill levels displayed in the online Cyber Quests quiz, but then required to compete as a team in the CTF competition to show how well they work in a team environment, which employers find fundamentally valuable.
As a supporter of competitions like USCC, the Department of Homeland Security can speak directly to the benefits of these programs. Program Manager at Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) at DHS S&T, Ed Rhyne, talked specifically at the event about how competitions are engines for driving awareness, education, technology adoption, workforce training as well as building community.
This summer, USCC hosted three week-long camps in Delaware, Illinois and Utah. The camps are an integral part of the USCC mission to identify and develop cybersecurity talent in order to reduce the nation’s cybersecurity workforce gap. USCC is also managing CyberCompEx.org, a cybersecurity-specific online community that serves as a platform to continue conversations and learning beyond the 5-day camp program. CyberCompEx.org is a community where anyone can contribute ideas and resources about cybersecurity, network with others in the field, and ultimately build their skillsets to further their career and strengthen the workforce landscape.
For more information about the Cyber Camp program and each of the specific camps, visit U.S. Cyber Challenge online at www.uscyberchallenge.org
About U.S. Cyber Challenge:
U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate through a contract with the Center for Internet Security, a 501(c)3 organization, and has the mission to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation.
Visit Us Online: www.uscyberchallenge.org
Contact: Katie Hanson, KHanson@USCyberChallenge.org