Florida Center of Cybersecurity is hosting a competition for students | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

For the first time, a leading cybersecurity education institute is holding a competition for Florida students.

The Florida Center for Cybersecurity at the University of South Florida is hosting CyberLaunch, an event where around 800 Florida students will learn about cybersecurity careers.

Cybersecurity curriculum developer Candi Ring said these students were selected from invitations that were sent to all Florida school districts. Students from 43 districts will be taking part.

“Our outreach was primarily for high school students and we allowed anyone to participate that felt like they were ready,” Ring said. “We do have a couple middle school students and then some dual enrollment students from technical colleges and state colleges.”

The competition is Capture the Flag, with participants being split between two tracks: beginner and advanced.

The advanced track is tailored for students typically in their junior and senior years who have engaged in cybersecurity programs and clubs. Participants in this track will have coding, computer science and gaming backgrounds. The beginner track is designed for students who are new to cybersecurity.

As the participants go through different challenges, they will be scored using the EC Council Queue Platform and will earn points based on the difficulty of each challenge.

“Our goal is to grow cybersecurity programs across the state of Florida,” Ring said. “We want to get them interested and we want them to really leave CyberLaunch saying, ‘Wow, cybersecurity is really awesome.’ ”

The event features seven different breakout sessions throughout the day that participants will be able to attend, with organizations such as Google and Lockheed Martin.

Students will have the opportunity to engage with over 45 industry vendors. The event will also include representatives from each branch of the military, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement from the FBI and cybercrime units from different counties.

These guests will offer insights about different career paths cybersecurity offers, such as digital forensics, solving cybercrime and working for different law enforcement organizations.

Ring said there are over 750,000 open jobs in cybersecurity on a national level.

“You have to start very young to fill those gaps,” Ring said. “We want these kids graduating high school with cybersecurity experience so they can get internships and certificates.”

The event will take place on March 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Caribe Royal Orlando.


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National Cyber Security