Sacramento, California – As part of California’s continued leadership in preparing a workforce of the future to address cybersecurity, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) hosted the inaugural California Cyber Innovation Challenge (CCIC) at Sacramento City College. In this demonstration event, eight teams of high school students competed in a series of timed cybersecurity challenges to defend the integrity of simulated computer networks and crack complex codes.
“California students are the future of our states innovation workforce and will be on the front lines of defending cybersecurity,” said GO-Biz director Panorea Avdis. “This challenge showcased California’s commitment to proactively addressing the global cybersecurity skills gap.”
The challenge featured eight teams of high school students from all over the state in a simulated “War Room” set up at Sacramento City College and competing in two different technical challenges. During the morning CyberPatriot competition, teams were scored based upon their ability to identify and correct vulnerabilities in operating system images. In the afternoon challenge, students used Facebook’s “Capture the Flag” gaming platform to complete challenges related to a variety of cybersecurity topics, including forensics, web application security, cryptography and binary exploitation.
The top three finishers were 1) North Hollywood High School, 2) Westview High School (San Diego), and 3) Casa Robles High School (Sacramento). The other schools were close behind including Elk Grove High School, Luther Burbank High School (Sacramento), Irvington High School (Fremont), Los Angeles Teacher Prep Academy (Los Angeles) and Ramona High School (San Diego).
GO-Biz promoted the inaugural challenge through the CyberCalifornia network, in partnership with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office and the California Workforce Development Board. CyberCalifornia is a coalition of businesses, state agencies, and educational partners dedicated to reinforcing California’s leadership position in cybersecurity. This challenge showcases CyberCalifornia’s commitment to innovative education and workforce development programs.
“Collaborations like the Cyber Innovation Challenge encourage businesses, academic institutions and governments to work together to expand access to technology career pathways for students,” said GO-Biz deputy director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Louis Stewart. “GO-Biz plans to expand this challenge in future years and hopefully inspire students from every corner of California to become active participants in cybersecurity.”
Sacramento City College hosted the event on campus with support from other coalition leaders including the California Department of Technology, Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, the Foundation for California Community Colleges, Los Angeles Unified School District, California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo and Pomona, the Securing our eCity Foundation, the Air Force Association, CyberWatch West, Dun & Bradstreet, ForeScout, Facebook, and Cisco.
“We look forward to partnering with more schools in California to allow an even greater number of students to participate in these cybersecurity challenges,” said Professor Steve Linthicum, the Deputy Sector Navigator for Information and Communications Technologies for the Greater Sacramento Region. “These cybersecurity innovation challenges are emerging as key components of California’s robust education and workforce development system.”
At the final ceremony Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin presented legislative awards to all the students and thanked them for their hard work.
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) serves as the State of California’s leader for job growth and economic development efforts. GO-Biz offers a range of services to business owners including: attraction, retention and expansion services, site selection, permit streamlining, clearing of regulatory hurdles, small business assistance, international trade development, assistance with state government, and much more. For more information visit, www.business.ca.gov.
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