At Capitol Technology University, we offer a regular series of Cyber Saturday events that provide high school and community college students with an interest in computers, coding, gaming, and cybersecurity a chance to take a dive into that world. Our Cyber Saturdays are completely free, but space is limited so please sign up! This year we’ve already had a couple of great Cyber Saturdays. Here’s what they were like.
Cyber Saturday’s at Capitol started in the fall of 2013 as the result of an NSA capacity building grant that year. These events are designed to not only provide high school students an experience in cybersecurity, but for them to learn about career opportunities in the field.
The first such event of this school year was held on 3 November 2018. Mr. John Dwyier, of Onclave, was the guest speaker. Mr. Dwyier is an academic partner and supporter of Capitol and an expert in operational technology (OT) security. He spoke to attendees about the importance of students focusing on securing OT as a fantastic track for future career opportunities. Students also engaged in fun activities such as digital lock picking, wireless router programming, a King of the Hill competition, and other skill building challenges.
On Saturday 26 January, Capitol held its second Cyber Saturday of the school year. Participants and parents watched two dynamic presentations by seasoned industry professionals. The first guest speaker was Mr. Jihad Little. Little, of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, spoke to the students about the importance of industry certifications and a college degree. The second speaker was Mr. Javier Santos who teaches Cyber defense and scenario-based training for Man Tech Corporation. Mr. Santos also talked about job opportunities, certifications and the high demand for cyber analysts.
Following the presentations, the participants had lunch and hands-on training with the Linux operating system. Students observed threats on a network and secured their own system. Finally, at the end of the day students participated in an always-popular capture the flag (CTF) competition. The CTF is held annually and is an excellent example of how fun and learning can happen simultaneously.