Monday, January 26, 2015

Cyberthon 2015

This past weekend (January 22-25 2015), Pensacola, Florida played host to Cyberthon 2015. What was Cyberthon you might ask? If you go to the Facebook page for the event (, the description for the event is the following:

Hosted by AFCEA Blue Angels Pensacola Chapter and presented by Hixardt Technologies, Inc., CyberThon'15 is described as a community cybersecurity event, scheduled to take place January 23-25, 2015 at the National Flight Academy. The Pensacola-Warrington community is the Cyber Defense hub for Northwest Florida and the Southeastern United States. Cybersecurity professional experts from DoD Cyber operation's and training commands located at Pensacola's Naval Air Station, Corry and Ft Walton Beach have volunteered to mentor and participate in this first cyber showcase event. Escambia County Commissioner, District 2 Doug Underhill and the University of West Florida Innovation Institute and Center for Cybersecurity are collaborating with them to organize and conduct a real-world cyber operations scenario during a 2 1/2 day period while mentoring high school and college students in actual cyber defense and engagement procedures and methods. Cyber experts are needed to fulfill critical cyber missions so by partnering as a community, and involving students, a cyber skilled workforce pipeline can be developed for and encouraged to enter the local high-demand cybersecurity career field. With BrigGen Touhill participating, federal government, DoD, industry, academia, city and county committee participants are expecting to establish a community culture of cyber awareness. Additional key sponsors include the Department of Homeland Security, The Greater Pensacola Chamber, and the Escambia County School 

I was asked If I wanted to participate this year, but I could not as I am currently deployed. But I plan to participate next year!

This event was awesome because it allowed students to learn the art of cyber defense and response while getting mentored by some of the brightest folks in the industry. It even included an arrest of an individual who was considered to be an insider threat. The event was very well rounded from what I could see.

As we see on a day-to-day basis, Web sites (both governmental and corporate) are getting hacked. Credit card payment systems are getting ransacked so hackers can siphon off credit card data and use it and or sell it to the highest bidder. Government secrets are getting exposed and weakening our ability to fight on the cyber battlefield. We need to begin to develop our cyber leaders of the future so they can respond to both today's and tomorrow's threats. I plan to attend next year's Cyberthon event. I'm sure next year's event will need volunteers as well as sponsors in order to make it bigger and better!

No comments:

Post a Comment