By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant
As a part of a larger effort to supply Silicon Valley and the nation with much-needed cybersecurity professionals, SJSU is hosting the 2012 U.S. Cyber Challenge Northern California Cyber Security Summer Boot Camp August 6-10.
“It’s a great opportunity to get involved in this early exposure in an industry that is going to have explosive growth,” said Rudy Pamintuan, a spokesperson for the U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC).
The camp was supported in part through sponsorships with Juniper, Avue Technologies, Safegov.org and partnerships with SANS Institute, Booz Allen Hamilton, and San Jose State University. Local sponsors include Facebook, McAfee, nCircle, Symantec, Veracode and Visa.
Events are focused on the goal of finding the next generation of the “best and brightest” cybersecurity experts throughout the U.S. This week, campers receiving the highest scores from April’s online Cyber Quest Cyber Challenge competition, hosted by (USCC), and various other Cyber Challenge competitions held throughout the U.S., have been invited to experience hands-on information security training through in-depth workshops taught by top security instructors at SANS Institute and other experts in the field.
To address the gap of the shortage of skilled security professionals in the workplace, an Executive Roundtable was held August 7 at the Student Union in the Umunhum Room in conjunction with the camp.
Speakers included Ernest McDuffie, lead for the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), Keith Tresh, California director and chief information security officer, and various national cybersecurity industry professionals.
The Executive Round Table
On August 7, President Qayoumi welcomed the 2012 California Regional Cyber Security Boot Camp Round Table Discussion, which featured national experts from government, technology and academia.
“The future of our country will be up to individuals like you,” Qayoumi told campers, addressing the current need for security professionals in the workplace.
McDuffie spoke on current national cybersecurity efforts and initiatives, including the standards for training and forming the framework for emerging skill sets and job titles. In addition, he stressed the importance of forming public partnerships with academia and industry.
“The cybersecurity issue is so big that it’s well beyond the ability of one federal government agency,” McDuffie said.
Visa Chief Information Security Officer Gary Warzala said that passion and commitment are the two qualities his company looks for when hiring employees.
“Imagine spending your career doing something you love,” Warzala said. “We need skilled people to come into the workforce immediately to hit the ground running.”
The remainder of the discussion was dedicated to moderated discussions between camp participants and national cybersecurity experts. Discussions ranged from the challenges each sector faces outside of human capital to obtaining offensive and top secret security clearances. Campers also inquired about what to teach at the college level and how to break away from entry-level jobs.
The most wide-ranging views received, however, were on the topic of certification.
“We have to provide a way to map our skills,” argued Sean Catlett, COO, iSight Partners.
Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan had a different view on certification qualifications for contributors to Facebook’s Bug Bounty Program, a program that encourages its users to seek security weaknesses.
“We look at different factors,” Sullivan said. “Our objective is to measure if a person can solve problems.”
A job fair to connect campers with big name companies took place at 7 p.m. August 8 in the Barrett Ballroom at the Student Union.
The week will end with a virtual “capture the flag” competition and an awards ceremony at 1 p.m. August 10 in the Barrett Ballroom.