Blog

TAO Sponsored PDX CyberCamp Concludes on High Note

Charlie Kawasaki, Software Diligence Service
August 10, 2016

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Galois, Inc. Principal Researcher Adam Wick, Ph.D, discusses the most effective methods hackers use to penetrate network defenses.

The first annual TAO sponsored 2016 PDX CyberCamp wrapped up on July 22nd, with accolades from students, parents and industry experts. The sold-out week-long camp for high school students, held at Lincoln High School, included a solid week of hands-on training in cyber defensive techniques, presentations from many industry experts, and an evening networking reception where students and experts discussed career paths and opportunities.

Industry experts from global leaders in cybersecurity including RSA, Lockheed Martin, Intel Security, Galois, PacStar and EnergySec provided unprecedented, real-world looks into challenges and opportunities available in this growing field, and re-iterated the large and growing number of unfilled positions in the industry. The core of the curriculum, in large part lead by student instructors from local  high schools, centered on best practices in configuring Windows and Linux systems to protect against attacks, providing students with valuable fundamental skills necessary to succeed in any cybersecurity role.

 

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Amelia Kawasaki, student instructor and camp co-founder from Lincoln High School discusses checksums as a technique to ensure files are not corrupted.

Based on exceptionally positive feedback from the students and families, the camp’s organizing team is already underway with plans for next year’s camp, including doubling the number of sessions and reserving an exclusive session for high school girls. The tentative date for the next year’s camp is the week of July 17th to July 22nd, conducted at multiple locations in the Portland metro area, and will be co-managed by EnergySec, a Clackamas-based non-profit. More information on the just-concluded 2016 camp can be found here. The 2017 camp will be similarly structured as a non-profit, volunteer-driven effort.

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Survey Responses from a Majority of Participants Indicate Successful Camp Outcome.

Student Feedback in Their Own Words

"I found the camp informational and definitely an eye-opener. I think being at this camp has inspired me to do more."

"Taught me to both secure my computer from invaders and get future contacts in the cyber security business."

"Amazing program! met and exceeded my expectations"

"The camp not only teaches skills that the students can use later on in life, it gives them the connections to have the opportunity to do so."

"The patience and competence of the teachers was incredible."

Follow on Opportunities

Based on the in-depth involvement of industry sponsors including TAO CyberSecurity Lab members the camp identified a number of follow on educational opportunities for students of the camp, and is also in the final phase of developing an educational merit scholarship program for camp participants, to be administrated by Innovate Oregon.

The 2017 camp planning is underway. Please contact us to get involved, at pdxcyber@gmail.com

Thanks to Sponsors Who Made the 2016 Camp Possible

CTL
EnergySec
Galois
ID Experts
Lockheed Martin
McKenzie WorldWide
PacStar
Rock Creek Corner Café
RSA
Software Diligence Services
TAO