Idaho Central Credit Union is proud to sponsor several Idaho high schools in their participation of CyberPatriot, the National Youth Cyber Education Program created by the Air Force Association. This year, two teams from Sandpoint High School placed 1st in their divisions for Idaho. Boise School District also had one team place 1st in the Platinum level, one place 3rd in the Gold Division, and one place 2nd in the Silver Level. Great job to all students involved!
Both Boise and Sandpoint have participated in CyberPatriot previously and brought experience and determination this year. Different components of the competition included forensics, securing Linux, Windows server systems, and Cisco Networking components.
CyberPatriot was created to address the cybersecurity needs in the United States and beyond. This program focuses on teaching middle school and high school students about the field of cybersecurity and the increasing demands of a technical workforce. Thousands of students who participate in this program compete in the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition each year which simulates realistic cyber situations. The competition puts teams in the position as an IT professional for a small company and tasks them with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities. The teams have six hours to analyze a set of virtual images that represent different operating systems.
Many of these students go on to pursue a career in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The mission of the CyberPatriots is to develop the next generation of security specialists who can defend against cybercrime at the national and state level. According to the Herjavec Group, the gap of unfilled cybersecurity jobs will grow to 3.5 million by the end of this year. These students have been connected to technology their entire lives and this program prepares them to meet a crucial need in today’s fast paced and constantly changing cyberspace.
Idaho Central prioritizes building relationships with our communities and the schools within them. Cybersecurity is vital to any financial institution, and ICCU has made it front and center as we work to protect and serve our members. The CyberPatriots’ pursuit to increase awareness and enhance security aligns directly with our mission to use state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures to protect personal information and keep transactions safe.
“One of the key value propositions of our sponsorship of CyberPatriot is that it gives us early access and visibility to upcoming cyber talent in our region,” says Nick Stafford, Chief information Security Officer at Idaho Central Credit Union. “We certainly want to have some mindshare with these students as they build and develop the next steps in their careers – the value of this in such a tight job market shouldn’t be underestimated.”