INVER GROVE HEIGHTS— As part of an effort by the Department of Homeland Security to entice a new generation of computer wizards to think about a career in cybersecurity, Inver Hills is sponsoring the Minnesota Cyber Aces State Competition. Minnesota is the third state to hold the competition, behind New Jersey and Virginia.
Outgoing Secretary of the DHS Janet Napolitano estimates that her agency needs at least 600 cybersecurity recruits to fend off foreign governments and others who are attempting to steal the nation’s wealth and probe the nation’s infrastructure for weaknesses. To lure defensive hackers, Alan Paller of the SANS Institute, a computer security training organization, helped create the Cyber Aces Competition. In a recent New York Times article, Paller likened the current need for cyberwarriors to the need for fighter pilots during WWII.
“This is a great opportunity to introduce students to the world of cybersecurity,” said Kevin Gyolai, dean of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) at Inver Hills. “And Inver Hills is well positioned to host the competition.”
IHCC is one of approximately 30 community colleges across the nation designated by the Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence for its cybersecurity program, and one of only 10 chosen to hold a state competition. The college’s program is also recognized by MnSCU as part of a Center of Academic Excellence.
Part I of the competition is called Cyber Aces Online and consists of three online modules with a quiz for each module. No experience in IT or cybersecurity is required for participation. High school students, college students, and veterans are especially encouraged to attend. Registration is already open at www.cyberaces.org. The first round of competition is October 15.
The top 10% will be invited back to Inver Hills on March 15, 2014, for the Minnesota Cyber Aces State Championship. Business and industry, governmental, higher education, and non-profit partners will actively engage the competitors in face-to-face challenges.
For more information, contact Kevin Gyolai at (651) 450-3526 or firstname.lastname@example.org.