U.S. Cyber Challenge Announces Winners of Cyber Foundations 2012 National Cyber Security Competition

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho, June 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- From throughout the nation, over 600 high school students competed in the 2012 Spring Cyber Foundations competition — an entry-level competition with a series of increasingly challenging contests sponsored by the US Cyber Challenge — chartered to identify and nurture talented Americans who can become the future cyber guardians and cyber warriors of United States.

Jade Mollard of Maryland came in as the top scorer, followed by Gavy Aggarwal of Delaware, Brandon Wu of California, Matthew Miller of Michigan and Ronald Kwan of California.

Opportunities for students who do well in these competitions range from awards and recognition by elected leaders, to internships and scholarships sponsored by the (ISC)2 Foundation, a non-profit charitable trust that aims to make the cyber world safer for everyone by supporting cyber security education and awareness in the community. Through the Foundation, (ISC)2's global information security expert membership of over 85,000 seek to ensure children everywhere have a positive, productive, and safe experience online, to spur the development of the next generation of cyber security professionals and to illuminate major issues facing the industry now and in the future.

W. Hord Tipton, CISSP-ISSEP, CAP, executive director of (ISC)2 and of the (ISC)2 Foundation stated, "Cyber security youth outreach and engagement programs such as the USCC's Cyber Foundations competition and the (ISC)2 Foundation's Safe and Secure Online program, which engages certified cyber security experts to teach children ages seven to 14 how to protect themselves online, are critical early steps along a well-lit career path to help the next generation of industry professionals succeed."

Cyber Foundations has two parts: (1) on-line tutorial and video education materials that allow students to expand their knowledge, and (2) quizzes that allow students to demonstrate mastery.  Three topics are presented and tested:  networking, operating systems, and system administration.  Each topic has a separate set of educational materials and a separate test. Teachers may use the materials in class, but that is not required.

The three topical areas in the competition are representative of the foundation skills needed by any individual hoping to become a skilled cyber security professional. In addition, these three skill areas are in high demand throughout industry and government. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranked jobs requiring these skills as the second fastest growing in the United States, with 155,000 new jobs opening up. The potential rewards to students who pursue this career path cannot be overemphasized.  The Department of Homeland Security is establishing cyber security centers across the country with college partners where curriculum is being developed and research conducted in the area. In addition, the Administration has made national defense from cyber attack one of its highest priorities and is committing substantial resources toward this goal.

"We are pleased to see increasing participation in the Cyber Foundations competition. Our country is in great need of cyber security professionals, and we are proud to be a facilitator of the growth and development of this field," stated Karen Evans, National Director of US Cyber Challenge. "We strive to find talented individuals, develop their skills in cyber security, and help them find jobs with companies who are looking for highly skilled cyber security professionals."  

Alan Paller, Director of the SANS Institute, added, "Competitions work extremely well in finding talented young people.  We have found that students who do well in the Cyber Foundations competitions have rare and valuable skills. They are being sought after by top colleges just as they seek sports stars and science fair champions.  Employers are also looking to these competitors to fill important internships."                                                                             

About U.S. Cyber Challenge:

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.

Contact: Rudy Pamintuan, Rudy@ShermanWorldwide.com , 312-961-4710

Media Contact: Rudy Pamintuan Sherman Worldwide, 312-961-4710, Rudy@ShermanWorldwide.com

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