Idaho Falls, ID - (March 22, 2012) - The U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) has kicked-off its Spring/Summer Cyber Foundations competition. The online competition, conducted in collaboration with the SANS Institute, features a series of quizzes in the most important foundational fields of cyber security: networking, operating systems, and system administration. The top scoring students will earn recognition and awards for their achievements. Those with an interest and aptitude may go on to pursue a career in cyber security and help fill the critical gap in the nation's cyber workforce.
Cyber Foundations participants are provided with on-line tutorials and video education materials on the three foundational fields, after which they take quizzes that allow them to demonstrate mastery. Each topic has a separate set of materials and a separate test. The first quiz is on April 27, the second on May 11 and the third on May 25. Winners will be announced later in June. Prizes and scholarships will be awarded to the top performers. Interested participants register at www.uscyberchallenge.org.
"This innovative competition is a unique way to address our nation's need in developing young talent in the cyber security field," said Congressman Jim Langevin, who co-founded the Congressional Cyber Security Caucus and took the lead in launching the contest in Rhode Island. "The National Board of Information Security Examiners continues the push with an ideal model -- partnering education, business and government -- improving our cyber workforce and ultimately protecting our nation."
"The United States is facing a human capital crisis in the area of cyber security," said Karen Evans, National Director of the U.S. Cyber Challenge. "Cyber Foundations creates a platform from which talent can be identified early, nurtured, trained and mentored, so that our country can fill the gap quickly and keep our nation safe."
The skills being taught through the competition are fundamental for success in the cyber security field and are in high demand. The competition offers an opportunity for students to explore cyber security as a potential career option while competing for awards and recognition. Scholarships are sponsored by the (ISC)² Foundation.
"As part of (ISC)²'s Information Security Scholarship Program, we are committed to cultivating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and to offering tools to help them develop skills in high demand in the workforce," said Julie Peeler, director of the (ISC)² Foundation. "We are thrilled to give back to the community, honored to renew our commitment to the U.S. Cyber Challenge and to work together to create new career opportunities for these aspiring information security professionals."
"There are thousands of high school students getting geared up for this competition, because it's an exciting opportunity to pursue technology in a competitive way," said Alan Paller, Director of Research at the SANS Institute. "The parents like it because it prepares their children for the fastest-growing high-paid careers in the United States. The teachers like it, because the courses are provided. And, the students love it, because they have an opportunity to win scholarships and prizes and public acclaim for their technical prowess -- something they would never have been able to do without Cyber Foundations."
"Programs like Cyber Foundations and the (ISC)² Foundation's Information Security Scholarships are critical as our nation continues its march towards modernization. Our growing reliance on digital technology requires concentrated efforts, like these, to identify and best develop the next generation of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals," said Michael Assante, President & CEO National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE)
The mission of the U.S.Cyber Challenge (USCC) is 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.
The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS is the most trusted and by far the largest source for information security training and security certification in the world. In addition to world-class training, SANS offers certification via the ANSI accredited GIAC security certification program. SANS offers a myriad of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, newsletters, and it operates the Internet's early warning system - the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners in varied global organizations from corporations to universities working together to help the entire information security community. (www.sans.org)
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