The importance of early cybersecurity training – Part 2
In our previous post, we talked about why there is a need for more cybersecurity professionals, and we mentioned that there are cybersecurity camps for teenagers. These camps are helping younger audiences get involved in cybersecurity.
Here are some of the cybersecurity training camps that are geared specifically towards kids and teenagers:
- The Evolve Security Academy:
This camp is held in Chicago and is also offered as an online camp. The camp is 17 weeks long, whereas the online camp is 15 weeks long and is led by a live, remote instructor. The training that is provided is hands on, and it is quite intensive. The goal of this camp is not to just teach kids or teenagers about cybersecurity. It’s also to get them job ready if they choose not to attend college right after high school (it is important to keep in mind that if properly trained, one does not need a college degree per se, but most companies are now requiring that as a bare minimum). What is unique about this program is that students are given real world scenarios to apply their cybersecurity training into. Most of these exercises are provided by non-for-profit organizations that need to have increased levels of cybersecurity. In other words, the scenarios and the feedback provided is adopted and implemented into the Security Policies of these non-profits. Some of the specific topics that are taught at this training camp include the following:
–The methods and concepts behind cybersecurity
–Python security training
–Best practices for data storage in the Cloud
–How to write secure lines of source code, especially at the command line level
This training camp is offered year-round, but the cost to attend is not cheap. It is $11,000 per student.
- The SecureSet Academy:
Launched in 2014, this particular camp is held at four different locations across the United States: Tampa, FL; Colorado Springs, CO; Washington, D.C.; and Denver, CO. It should be noted that this is a very intensive training camp, as it requires to attend at least 480 hours of instructor led training. This curriculum is offered on a full-time basis, and eight foundational courses are offered that focus on the following:
–Cyber threat intelligence
–Threat analysis and interpretation
–Cyber threat and adversary hunting
This training camp is designed to be completed in twelve weeks, and it is offered on a rolling basis (meaning that prospective students can enroll at any time that is convenient to them). At the completion of this program, students can get guaranteed interviews with 40+ cybersecurity firms that offer their resources to this program. But once again, the price of enrollment is rather steep; it costs $11,950 to attend.
- The US Cyber Challenge (USSC):
This training camp is only one week long, but during this time period, the training is very intense. For example, the “workshop” teaching method is utilized, and they are taught by some of the leading computer science professors across the United States, SANS Institute instructors, and other cybersecurity experts from within the industry. The objective of this training camp is about penetration testing, focusing upon the following:
–Red and blue teaming
–The tools that are available for conducting a deep dive penetration test
–How to summarize the findings into a clear, concise report for the client
–How to launch a network forensics investigation and how to analyze its results
At the end of the one-week long training program, all of the students then participate in a “Capture the Flag” competition, with the winning team being given an elaborate award. Participants in this program can also take part in the job fair that is also included, where they can meet face-to-face with the various cybersecurity sponsors of the USCC.
However, this program is not available for just anyone. The prospective student must first participate and qualify in an online competition. After this, only a handful of participants are then invited to enroll in the one-week training camp. This particular venue is offered in the following four U.S. cities:
- Blacksburg, VA
- Palos Hills, IL
- Dover, DE
- North Las Vegas, NV
When compared to the other two bootcamps, the price of enrollment is much cheaper, ranging anywhere from $200 to $650.
- The Purdue University Cybersecurity Camp:
This training camp is offered on the campus premises, and it’s unique because only girls in grades 9-12 can enroll and attend. There are three foundational courses for this camp:
–The methodologies and concepts of cybersecurity
From within these three courses, the following electives can be selected in order to further augment the students’ training:
–Cryptography and steganography
–The psychology and mindset of the cyberattacker
It should be noted that this training camp is only open during the summer from June 17th-22nd. Probably the best part of this program is that it is completely free for the student to attend as all of the costs are covered by the GenCyber grant, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency (NSA). However, students are required to stay on campus.
- The Georgia Southern’s Center for Applied Cyber Education Camp:
This training camp is offered to both males and females that are in grades 9-12. It’s also offered in only the summer, from July 16th-20th. Throughout this week-long camp, the following subject matters are taught:
–The principles of cybersecurity
–Windows OS security policies and tools
–Windows file protection
–Windows auditing & monitoring
–A review of Windows server 2008
–The fundamentals of GUI security
–Introduction to command line structures and security
–Advanced Ubuntu security
Prospective students must have completed a course in Algebra and Computer Science prior to enrollment in this training camp. It costs $250 for each student to attend this program; all other costs are covered by Georgia Southern University.
How to choose the best cybersecurity training camp
Overall, this post has examined some of the top training camps for cybersecurity. Obviously, there are many, many others that are offered, so the trick is finding the right one to keep your kid or teenager engaged and interested for the long term. In evaluating the merits of a training program, the following should be taken into consideration:
- A variety of courses should be offered, that include the following:
–Web applications security
–Advanced programming languages such as C++/Java/Python/PHP
–Conducting risk assessments
It is one thing to attend a camp to get training in cybersecurity; but the most beneficial camps are those that will also teach students how to think and have the mindset of a real-world cyberattacker.