Although it often seems as though no one is safe from the ever-growing cyber security threat, a unique partnership between a local school district and a leading Geo IP cyber-security firm could help make the internet a safer place.
Pittsburgh, PA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/30/2014 --From JP Morgan, to Home Depot and Target, to the US Navy, to the average citizen, no entity is too big or too small to be immune from global hackers. At the same time, most reports indicate that not enough young people are entering programming and IT to fill new openings, let alone replace a wave of expected future retirements in the coming years. That is why PacketViper CEO Frank Trama believes it is so important to get more kids involved in the emerging cyber-security field, and why he has sought out local schools and teachers to start learning about this challenging field through competitions and games.
TRAMA - LOOK, CYBER-SECURITY'S AN EXCITING FIELD. BUT LIKE ANYTHING, IT'S NOT MUCH FUN WHEN YOU'RE JUST GETTING STARTED. THAT'S WHY GAMES ARE SUCH A GREAT WAY TO GET KIDS INVOLVED AND EXCITED ABOUT CYBER-SECURITY, AND THERE ARE SOME GREAT COMPETITIONS OUT THERE.
One such event is the nationally recognized Cyber-Patriot competition. With Colin Powell as a leading proponent, and sponsored by giants like the Air Force Association, Northrop Grumman, Microsoft, Symantec, and Cisco, the CyberPatriot competition has high schools participating in every state, and even from military bases across the globe. Unfortunately, until this year, even with leading technology companies and universities like CMU and Pitt, not one public school in Allegheny County participated. That's all changing with Mr. Trama's sponsorship of the Riverview Jr/Sr High School CyberPatriot team.
TRAMA - IT'S A NO-BRAINER REALLY. THESE KIDS GET GREAT EXPOSURE TO CYBER SECURITY FUNDAMENTALS. THEY GET EXCITED ABOUT IT. AND WE GET MORE KIDS INTO A FIELD THAT REALLY NEEDS IT. THE REGISTRATION FEE'S A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR THE QUALITY OF LEARNING THAT WE'RE PUTTING INTO THEIR HANDS.
This is Riverview's first time in the CyberPatriot event, but it's not their first foray into technology competitions. A small public school serving the communities of Oakmont and Verona on the Allegheny River, Riverview is a leader in cutting edge technology education, with a surprising number of award-winning teams in robotics and technology for its size.
RSD PRINCIPAL - WE'RE REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS COMPETITION AND WE'RE REALLY PROUD OF OUR KIDS FOR DOING IT. WE KNOW THIS EVENT IS BRAND NEW AND THE STUDENTS ARE GOING IN WITH A LOT LESS EXPERIENCE THAN SOME OF THE OTHER SCHOOLS. BUT WE HAVE TEACHERS THAT ARE WILLING TO GIVE OUR KIDS SOME INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT TASKS, AND OUR STUDENTS AREN'T AFRAID TO STEP UP TO THE CHALLENGE. THAT'S RIVERVIEW . WE’RE SMALL, BUT OUR TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION AND PROGRAMMING OPPORTUNITIES ARE SECOND TO NONE.
There are two qualifying rounds for the CyberPatriot competition and the Riverview team will know if they can make it to the nationals sometime in November. High scoring teams enter a platinum round of competition in December and can qualify for a fully paid trip to Washington DC for the finals. Either way, the kids seem to be thoroughly enjoying the experience. They were huddled around two laptops in a local Panera Bread eatery, alternately laughing and working feverishly to complete the problems within the allotted time. One team member noted that "it's not something I normally get to do in school", and another agreed that "it's pretty cool", and "more applicable than a lot of schoolwork". Another added that the competition is "more like a real-world situation". That's probably a good thing for several reasons. Learning cyber security could lead these young people toward a great job in an important emerging market, but these young technology experts may also be part of a new drive to create new internet security systems and firewalls that can make our virtual world a little bit safer from hacking attacks that are all too real.
Brian - it makes something not normally competitive
OWen - this isn't something you do on a daily basis - Others - I do.
brian - we had to manually discover and destroy a virus (Carys - we dropped a train on it)
Nick - it's pretty cool. more engaging and applicable.
Zane - More like a real world situation and something you could actually use
About PacketViper, LLC (Network Security Solutions)
Based in West Mifflin, PA and founded in January of 2012, PacketViper LLC, has quickly become a major player in the global Geo-IP network filtering arena. PacketViper is a flagship product that can reduce global network threats, attacks, probes, spam, save bandwidth, and resource loads on security systems. PacketViper’s innovative advances in Geo-IP Filtering enable new and unparalleled levels of precision that allow businesses to avoid dangerous areas without excluding potentially valuable customers or business. A versatile web interface makes ongoing management and reporting easily available. More information can be found at http://www.packetviper.com.