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CyberPatriots study digital security

In CyberPatriot competition at Bob Jones High School, student teams were joined by Mayor Paul Finley, cyber security teacher Lee Ann Pessoney, ISACA technical mentor Kevin Cedeno and Camber technical mentor Jacob Henson. CONTRIBUTED
In CyberPatriot competition at Bob Jones High School, student teams were joined by Mayor Paul Finley, cyber security teacher Lee Ann Pessoney, ISACA technical mentor Kevin Cedeno and Camber technical mentor Jacob Henson. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – CyberPatriots at Bob Jones High School are learning on-campus benefits in ethics, cyberbullying and mobile device security, along with at-home protection with virtualized systems and networks.
CyberPatriots conducted their second qualification round at Bob Jones on Dec. 9th.
A typical competition round starts at 8 a.m. and continues until around 4 p.m. Each competing team receives a virtual image of an Operating System (OS) and will be scored based on the amount of system vulnerabilities. When the virtual environment opens, the team has six hours to complete it.
Special guests included Mayor Paul Finley, cyber security teacher Lee Ann Pessoney, Camber technical mentor Jacob Henson and ISACA technical mentor Kevin Cedeno.
“Cyber is this generation’s Space Race,” Cedeno said. “Attacks keep happening and have the potential to affect health services, banking, power infrastructure and even our voting system.” Cedeno is Director of Communications for ISACA Huntsville Chapter and volunteers at Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools.
All CyberPatriot teams can participate in two open qualifying rounds. Team scores from the rounds are added to determine placement in one of three tiers. Each tier (Platinum, Gold and Silver) has a state and regional round. All teams can participate in a state round within tier placements.
The CyberPatriot organization is open to any Bob Jones or James Clemens student, regardless of technical experience. Computers are provided for practices and competitions.
“A typical meeting may consist of reviewing settings and performing OS tasks. We discuss tactics from last season or last competition. We put together a ‘Battle Plan’ for the next round. We anticipate vulnerabilities involved in the next images,” Cedeno said.
The cyber club “is a fun, challenging and rewarding activity for students who would otherwise learn and be tempted to practice skills without guidance,” Cedeno said. “The club also gives students exposure to the profession and hopefully help widen their career choices.”
CyberPatriots need companies and individuals who would sponsor competition rounds. Technical mentors need knowledge of Windows/Linux Operating Systems and Cisco networks.
In 2016, sponsors have included ISACA Huntsville, CyberProtex and Camber, along with private donations by Greg Hanis and Kevin Cedeno.
For more information, email lpessoney@madisoncity.k12.al.us or visit uscyberpatriot.org and click “Competition.”

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