Here is the second part of the interview with the ESET Cyber Security experts and high school student winners of the San Diego Mayors’ Cyber Cup competition at UCSD in March attending Cyber Boot Camp at ESET this past week June 16-20. This Cyber training comes amidst the announcement that Medtronic Inc., the world's largest independent medical device producer has announced a cyber attack from a suspected Asian group in a regulatory filing on Friday.
This year’s Cup brought strong and impressive high school students with focus and computer ability to meet the challenges in the future such as the Medtronic cyber attack. The top three teams have spent five days at the ESET North American headquarters in San Diego at a Cyber Boot Camp where they are learning from top cyber security experts.
Liz Fraumann is the Executive Director of the Securing Our eCity Foundation which is focused on cybersecurity awareness, education and preparation for business and individuals. Before taking on the Foundation leadership she was the Director of Marketing at ESET North America.
Fraumann spoke about the number one issue of why there is a cyber security problem and computer systems at risk. She stated that the problem begins with the “human element”. It is the person at the keyboard controlling phishing and opening a computer system up to virus attempts. She calls this the “PCAD” syndrome, the “person at the computer desk.”
Securing Our eCity Foundation provides education on how to prevent a cyber attack, how to respond to attacks and how to be preventive in actions and proactive in handling security policies and practices.
Her very extensive background in computer systems and development brought to her the common sense element of train people properly and develop trained professionals early on in the student years. She stated that it is, “critical to the infrastructure of a community” to bring not merely local policy in line with computer defense but a coordinated national policy with extension to an international community. Medtronic demonstrates this need but will not release a statement regarding the details of the cyber attack.
Liz’s mindset is that, “it is STEM improvement in education for our leaders of tomorrow." Liz has a vision in building the young leaders of tomorrow by increasing awareness of this Cyber Cup and Cyber Boot Camp to the various groups such as girl scouts, school computer clubs and community computer programs.
Lysa Meyers another Security Research expert at ESET and working with the students in Boot Camp this past week said that, “Education in technology and specifically in security is such an important and frequently overlooked thing! I’m shocked how few opportunities are out there for kids.”
She found when researching an article a few months ago about the lack of computer education in K-12 school in the US, she was totally floored by how many hoops kids have to jump through to learn about technology. That’s part of why she is so glad to be part of CBC: “We’re helping kids get through those hoops and hopefully giving them an interest in security that will last a lifetime.”
ESET and the Securing Our eCity Foundation are providing the opportunity, so I spoke with some of the Cyber Boot Camp students. Chloe Crisostomo of the Mira Mesa H.S. team told me that she is also in Air Force ROTC.
When asked her about her future plans she said that she is focused on college at this time and, “after college cyber security is somewhere in there.” Chloe set out to find an activity to complement her personal life. Learning how to secure computers is now an essential ability that everyone must know according to Chloe.
“The atmosphere in which I learned cyber security interested me very much, and the technicalities of it influenced me to pursue a career in cyber security,” added Chloe. She does not know the specific field of cyber security in which she will pursue, such as networking or forensics, but cyber security will stay a part of her life.
Jonathan Luck from Canyon Crest Academy contributed that, “I began high school with focus on becoming a doctor.” He likes biology and chemistry but the introduction to cyber security training has given him a “different way of viewing things; it is creative.” He is viewing UC Davis and University of California Berkeley as college choices.
The ESET leaders held a competition during the Cyber Boot Camp and it was won by the team from Canyon Crest Academy. Jonathan Luck was the top scoring student from the student champions of the CBC.
“I found it nice that you can learn about the opportunities in the industry and meet others with similar interests as well. This has been a great experience,” stated Jonathan upon his win.
The ESET team and Liz Fraumann of Securing Our eCity have plans to build and reach more students for next year’s event and look forward to seeing the development of their Cyber Boot camp members.