In the realm of cybersecurity, there is a vast shortage of people qualified to do so. More than 1.8 million cybersecurity jobs will go unfilled by 2020, a 20 percent increase over 2015, according to Frost and Sullivan’s Global Information Security Workforce Study. The shortage is widening not only due to lack of qualified workers, but also the soaring rise in cybercrime. Malware-as-a-service operations, exploit kits and other crimeware are readily available, making it easy for low-tech criminals to get into hacking and they are doing so in overwhelming numbers.
"Who Dares, Wins" – The Saga of Hrafnkel Freysgothi, C.9
Cybersecurity is one of the least populated technology fields. Not only are comprehensive cybersecurity undergraduate programs less common than traditional computer science degrees, many recent graduates who are qualified choose to take a different route; such as game or mobile app development. But fear not, the Spartanburg High School Cyber Vikings are rising to the challenge.
One senior, one junior, and three sophomores make up the 2017 Cyber Vikings, currently competing against 2,757 open division teams from across the country in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Cyber Patriot is the U.S. Air Force Association’s National Youth Cyber Education program, created to motivate students towards careers in cybersecurity and other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines.
Coach Dennis Roberts guides the team as they hack into computer systems, learning to decrypt data, identify threats and discover vulnerabilities. The team did well in the first round of the competition, which took place in November. In December they will be advancing to the second round of the competition, which determines their placement and advances to the State, Regional and National competitions.
All of us at Pivotal IT are proud and excited about be sponsoring this great group of talented students interested in cybersecurity and we will keep you updated with their progress!
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about the Cyber Patriot program or would like to get involved, be sure to check out the U.S. Air Force Association's Cyber Patriot resource page.