As part of the national focus on cybersecurity, Capitol College faculty, staff, students, benefactors and friends gathered in the William G. McGowan Center to celebrate the achievements and progression of Capitol’s Cyber Battle Lab (CBL) throughout the first year of its existence at the “Cyber Battle Lab Showcase” event.
The day led off with a short speech from Dr. Richard Marshall, director of global cyber security management for the Department of Homeland Security. Marshall spoke to the growing importance of cybersecurity training in higher education, along with the high job placement rate for students graduating with information assurance (IA) degrees.
Following Marshall was Asuntha Chiang-Smith, representing Governor Martin O’Malley’s office. Chiang-Smith read the proclamation signed by the Governor making Oct. 13, 2011 “Capitol College Cyber Battle Lab Day” in the state of Maryland.
The keynote speaker, Keith A. Rhodes, chief technology officer of QinetiQ North America Missions Solutions, took the podium next. Rhodes reiterated the notion that cybersecurity is an integral part of today’s workforce and that the United States needs to continue its development of IA degree programs. According to Rhodes, hands-on learning is the key to educating today’s students.
“Textbook knowledge is always important, and the practical application of that knowledge requires a lab,” Rhodes said. “You’re still a cyber student, but you’re becoming a cyber analyst.”
Following the keynote address, three Cyber Battle Lab students, Jeremy Hedges, Marc Fruchtbaum and Austin Merson, spoke to the audience about their experiences in the CBL and their plans for the future. Each mentioned the importance of the lab in honing their cybersecurity skills and problem solving techniques. A warm thank you to benefactors with a special recognition gift was presented by the students to the state of Maryland, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.
The students then led a demonstration of the capabilities of the CBL, and showed those in attendance some of the tasks they perform on a daily basis.
The CBL was created in 2009 thanks in part to two BRAC Higher Education Grants from the State of Maryland, along with support from Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and other generous benefactors.