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Not just theory: real-time cybersecurity practice offered at Capitol’s Cyber Lab

Capitol’s on-campus hub for practicing cybersecurity skills in real time is already busy, just weeks into the new school semester.

Cyber Lab Kids Team

The university’s Cyber Lab, designed to help create a pipeline for cybersecurity expertise in the region, enables students to simulate, detect, analyze, and combat a wide range of cyber threats. After familiarizing themselves with cybersecurity concepts and principles during their classes, students can amplify what they’ve learned through hands-on activities in the lab.

Students running the Cyber Lab, with the guidance of Capitol faculty, are already planning activities such as last month’s Cyber Saturday event, geared towards high school and community college students. The September 21 event, starting at 9 am, offered exciting, game-oriented activities that also introduced students to cybersecurity fundamentals.

Cyber Security Student

Participants in past events have used Raspberry Pis to remotely control lamps, radios, and other devices. Others have sought to kick each other off computer networks in a challenging game of virtual King of the Hill.

As the year progresses, the lab will also become a base for the university’s competition team as it prepares for the Mid-Atlantic Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (MACCDC).

Resources like the Cyber Lab are integral to Capitol’s approach to cyber education, which stresses practical knowhow and hands-on experience. In a field that is changing day to day as cybercriminals find new avenues, applied learning is critical, according to Capitol faculty.

“It’s a huge differentiator for us,” says Dr. William Butler, chair of Capitol’s cybersecurity program.