Cyber camp arms students with crime-fighting tools
According to the National Crime Prevention Council, cyber-crime is now the fastest rising crime in America.
As a result of the growing cyber threat, there is a also a greater demand for professionals who work to prevent cyber-crime.
During the first week of August, 100 of these budding professionals attended Cyber Camp at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College (JSRCC), where they participated in a range of classes covering cyber security topics, in addition to job fairs and discussions with professionals in the field.
The local camp was the largest of five week-long Cyber Camps across the country with the purpose of training future professionals in cyber security.
To be invited to the week-long Cyber Camp, college students had to participate in tests known as Cyber Quests held in April. The test is hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge, a program with a mission of “identifying and recruiting the next generation of cyber security professionals.” The students with the highest scores were invited to camps in states across the nation during the months of July and August.
Kristopher Cox, security information Officer at JSRCC, began laying the groundwork a year ago for Virginia to host a Cyber Camp.
“I was at a SANS [security training] conference last year and a colleague of mine asked if I wanted to be a mentor at one of the Cyber Camps,” said Cox. “I told him I wanted to start a Virginia camp.
“I really wanted JSRCC to be a part of this,” said Cox. “I knew how vested Virginia is in cyber-crime prevention and I knew it would bring a lot to the community. JSRCC wants to bring cyber-crime awareness to everyone.”
Rudy Pamintuan, a volunteer with the U.S. Cyber Challenge, works to create ways to bring students to the challenge.
“This opportunity will help them grow and find new career paths. Companies come to this camp during job fairs to hire people out of the U.S. Cyber Challenge. It is giving people a safe place to do what they do best, which is virtually attack things,” said Pamintuan.
The camp not only provides employment opportunities from some of the industry’s leading employers, but also provides an intensive curriculum with expert teachers in the field of cyber security.
Carrie Schaper, a graduate student at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, is a first-time camper at a Cyber Camp. “This camp compresses week-long courses in a day,” said Schaper. “We are developing an expertise through the intense curriculum and the knowledgeable teachers who work in the field.”
On Tuesday of the week-long camp, the students participated in an executive roundtable discussion and question-and-answer session with speakers that included Virginia Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey and several CEO’s of companies that offer cyber security, such as Ernest McDuffie of the National Institute for Cyber Security Education (NICE), David Tobey of the National Board of Information Security Examiners (NBISE), and Charlie Croom, VP of Cyber Solutions for Lockheed Martin.
The discussion was centered around the profession of cyber security, highlighting topics such as how to be trained, how to find jobs, and how to work with academia to develop curricula and standards for cyber-crime prevention education.
“This camp has given everyone here an opportunity for free, because SANS training is very expensive,” Schaper said. “We are receiving hands-on, practical knowledge by experts in the field which is hard to come by. This camp is giving us experience above and beyond what most people get.”
Doug Logan is a former camper and challenge winner from New York who participated this year as a teacher’s assistant at the Missouri camp during the week of July 25, and also at Virginia’s camp at JSRCC in August.
“I learned so much from first being a camper and being involved in the Cyber Camp,” said Logan. “It helped jump-start the amount of knowledge I learned. It is consolidated and detailed, and it is a great opportunity to be exposed to different types of security and give you a base knowledge in different areas.”
On Friday, the final day of the camp, attendees participated in a virtual “capture-the-flag” competition in which the team of five winning students received $1,000 scholarships.
“Many students don’t know that they have this opportunity,” said Cox. “The camp opens these students up to employers and also networking with others to gain valuable scholarships.
“Cyber-crime is rising so quickly,” added Cox. “If we are prepared, we have the power to catch people that are damaging others through cyber-crimes.
“By training these young people, we are being proactive and preventing these sorts of things from happening.”
The threat of bad weather didn’t keep visitors away from Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden July 10 for the facility’s weekly Flowers After 5 event (which pairs music and food with a chance to stroll the garden) and its monthly Fidos After 5 (which allows dog owners to bring their pets with them to enjoy the evening). > Read more.
Thanks in part to a $10,000 gift from the Western Henrico Rotary Club, another bright pink Jeep modified to travel extremely rough terrain has been delivered to Midwives For Haiti so that more pregnant women in the quake-ravaged country will have access to prenatal care and a greater chance of surviving childbirth.
The funds were raised at the annual casino night held in February, club president Adam Cherry said. The Rotary Club also helped purchase the Virginia-based charity’s first pink jeep three years ago. > Read more.
Canoeing and kayaking enthusiasts soon will have a new access point to the Chickahominy River. VDOT, the James River Association and Henrico County Parks and Recreation are teaming up to establish a new site in Eastern Henrico.
The James River Association negotiated the deal with VDOT to procure official access to the area located just east of I-295 on North Airport Road in Sandston. The site includes a park-and-ride commuter lot bordering the Chickahominy River and has been an unofficial launch site used by paddlers for years. > Read more.
An eclectic array of events are taking place this weekend throughout the county. In the West End, we have the Richmond Wedding Expo, the Under the Stars Family Film Series and Henrico Theatre Company’s production of “Pump Boys and Dinettes.” In the eastern part of the county, we have a blood drive at the Eastern Henrico Recreation Center, Gallmeyer Farm’s annual Sweet Corn Festival and an origami workshop at Fairfield Library. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Charlottesville's Bella’s Restaurant recently opened a location in Short Pump Village, at 11408 West Broad Street. The restaurant is owned by Valeria Biesnti, a native of Rome who arrived in the U.S. at age 21 and later became a U.S. citizen. With her restaurants, Bisenti has sought to create an ambiance that welcomes diners in a casual setting, like her favorites from her hometown. > Read more.
A Henrico native will appear on the third episode of the Travel Channel's new grilling competition series “American Grilled.”
The episode, filmed in Charlottesville, will premier July 16 at 9 p.m. and feature Glen Allen-native Rex Holmes, a patent lawyer who operates http://SavoryReviews.com a blo,g centered around tasty recipes and BBQ.
The show features hardcore grilling enthusiasts from across the country going head-to-head for a chance to compete for a $10,000 cash prize and bragging rights when they are crowned the ultimate “grill master.” > Read more.
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