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 Richmond West Breakfast Lions Club (based in western Henrico) recently donated 59 backpacks to the Westover Hills Elementary School on Jahnke Road.
Above, club members display some of the backpacks prior to their distribution. > Read more.
Thanks to a first-place win in The American Protege International Vocal Competition 2014, Glen Allen High School student Matija Tomas will travel to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall in December.
At the first-place winners recital in Weill Hall, Matija will perform Giacomo Puccini’s opera aria, “Chi il bel sogna di doretta.” She will perform with other vocalists from around the world and have the opportunity to win other awards and scholarships.
Locally, Thomas has performed with Richmond’s renowned Glorious Christmas Nights, Christian Youth Theatre, and WEAG’s Urban Gospel Youth Choir. > Read more.
The John Rolfe YMCA and Gayton Baptist Church have partnered in an effort to bring greater health and wellness opportunities to the community.
Through this partnership, the John Rolfe Y will run Youth Winter Sports programs, including basketball and indoor soccer, in Gayton’s newly renovated $5.5 million outreach center that features a new gymnasium, youth and teen space, social space with café, meeting space and full service commercial kitchen. > Read more.
The Community College Workforce Alliance (CCWA), in partnership with the Virginia Film Office, will offer "Get Your Start in the Film Industry," a two-day seminar designed to prepare workers for film, television and commercial projects in Virginia. The course will be held Oct. 4-5 at the Workforce Development and Conference Center, 1651 Parham Road in Henrico, on the campus of J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College.
The training will be taught by Gary Romolo Fiorelli, an accomplished assistant director for film and television projects, which include the television series Sons of Anarchy and ABC’s current drama Mistresses. > Read more.
The Boathouse restaurant will open at Short Pump Town Center in the spring, its third location in the region.
“People have asked us to come to the West End for years,” said owner Kevin Healy. “When the opportunity arose, we knew had to jump on it.”
The new restaurant will be located in a 5,800-square-foot space under the Hyatt House Hotel at the town center and will include a large outdoor patio. > Read more.
Boka Kantina exceeds its strong food truck reputation
Already a fan of Boka fare from outdoor events with the Tako Truck, I was delighted to learn of the new restaurant, and eager to see if its reputation held up after putting down brick-and-mortar roots.
Would the food lose its zest if I wasn’t enjoying it in the great outdoors? Would it seem pedestrian served from an ordinary kitchen instead of a truck?
Would the tacos be less satisfying as an antidote to normal lunch hunger – instead of being ingested to stave off desperate hunger after a long afternoon of crowds, sun, and tedious lines? > Read more.
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