Building Cyber Defenders

All speakers on Thursday’s CyberPatriot panel at AFA’s CyberFutures Conference near Washington, D.C., agreed there is a lot of catching up to do as far as preparing the nation’s youth to be competitive on the world stage in subjects like math, science, and engineering. However, they said initiatives such as AFA’s CyberPatriot—the world’s largest high school cyber defense competition—have proven successful because they have engaged young people where they are comfortable and given them the forum to apply their skills competitively. Cyber security and the cyber realm is still a relatively new arena, said Natalie Granado, associate director for training within the Institute for Cyber Security at the University of Texas in San Antonio. Aside for time and money, there are few limitations on the growth of efforts such as CyberPatriot, she noted, adding that a good deal of the effort will be building awareness of the program. Continue