As U.S. government agencies and educational institutions strive to close the nation’s cybersecurity talent gap, military veterans are receiving special attention as potential recruits.

Veterans understand defense tactics and have worked in team environments; some already have security clearances that can help them obtain federal positions. Many acquired transferable technical skills or received specialized training during their military service.

CyberWatch West has launched a new online tool for community and technical colleges that grant credit for prior learning (CPL) to veterans studying information technology (IT) and cybersecurity.

MOS Pathways is a crosswalk that can be viewed on the CyberWatch West website or downloaded as a PDF file. It’s based on a list of Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) related to technology, IT, and security. MOS is the military terminology for job types in any of the branches of service, and each MOS is assigned a code to identify it.

The crosswalk correlates each MOS with specific skill sets and job descriptions, which are then translated into specific courses offered at Whatcom Community College (WCC), where CyberWatch West is based. A veteran who served in Cyber Transport Systems in the Air Force (AFSC-3D1X2), for example, could apply CPL for six courses in Computer Information Systems (CIS) toward a degree or certificate at the college.

Each WCC course name is translated into more commonly understood course name (e.g., a course called “Computer Fundamentals” at another college is generally equivalent to CIS 100, Computer Literacy, at WCC). College faculty and administrators needing to make an accurate comparison between mapped WCC courses and courses offered at their own institutions should refer to the Course Outcomes chart at the end of the document.

More information:

 

 

 

Representatives of cybersecurity-related businesses, government agencies, and higher education met at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, on May 25 to attend a dinner and panel discussion organized by CyberWatch West. 

Facilitating the event were Dr. Dan Manson, CyberWatch West’s co-PI for student development, and Dan Likarish, director of the Regis University Center on Information Assurance Studies. 

They directed questions about Colorado’s need for a skilled cybersecurity workforce to a discussion panel that included representatives of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Denver Chapter of ISACA (previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association), and Westminster-based cybersecurity firm Coalfire Systems.

Colorado has one of the highest concentrations of cybersecurity jobs per capita in the nation, according to the Burning Glass Technologies report Job Market Intelligence: Cybersecurity Jobs, 2015. Like the other leading states—Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland—Colorado has a high concentration of jobs in the federal government and related contractors. Recently the Colorado legislature approved spending $8 million to renovate a former Colorado Springs manufacturing plant to house a new public/private partnership called the National Cybersecurity Intelligence Center.

The discussion at the CyberWatch West event explored what Colorado employers would like to see in the cybersecurity workforce. Among the answers were familiarity with virtual machines and open source capabilities; coding skills; knowledge of application program interfaces (APIs); and network and bandwidth management.

Much of the conversation focused on gaps in the state’s educational system regarding cybersecurity. Participants commented on the need for not just business people but the general public to understand the importance of cybersecurity, and for there to be clearer communication with non-technical bystanders. A better understanding of cloud computing is necessary for effective risk management as use of this technology becomes more prevalent, they said. 

The group also pointed out areas in which academia is moving in the right direction, like introducing the basics of cybersecurity to students at a younger age, and enabling college students to collaborate with K–12 learners. They praised outreach events that connect with female students (CyberGirlz workshops, for example) and support of the CyberPatriot student competitions. 

“This event really helped us share ideas and discussions as well as collaborate with peers on how important cybersecurity is these days and how we can further its growth through our vast educational systems in Colorado,” said Likarish, who is also an assistant professor at Regis. “We look forward to meeting again in September and seeing how far we’ve come and the additional efforts we need to pursue. People were excited to continue these discussions.” 

Regis University is a private Jesuit university in Denver; a member of CyberWatch West, it’s one of seven four-year institutions in Colorado that have been designated a Center of Academic Excellence in information assurance/cybersecurity by the National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security.   

 

Are you attending the 20th Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education (CISSE) in Philadelphia? You won’t see CyberWatch West at an exhibition booth, but members of our leadership team are giving presentations and leading panels you won’t want to miss.

Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education logoMonday, June 13, at 2:20 p.m., Dr. Dan Manson of Cal Poly Pomona teams with Yenny Yi, site director of the UCLA AfterSchool Program at Franklin High School, for a breakout session on CyberGirlz. Learn about the one-day workshop that introduces middle school girls to career options in cybersecurity and other high-tech fields.

At 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14, Dr. Vera Zdravkovich leads a panel discussion on the role of community colleges. CyberWatch West’s senior advisor and the academic vice president emeritus at Prince George’s Community College, Dr. Zdravkovich will pose questions to a variety of cybersecurity experts whose careers combine time at community and technical colleges and experiences in industry and workforce development.

Wednesday, June 15, at 9:15 a.m., Dr. Dan Manson moderates a cybersecurity competition panel discussion. He’ll talk with teachers and professionals who have been personally involved in the development of CyberPatriot and the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition about the past, present, and future of such competitions.

We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

 

Dates and times of CISSE events are subject to change. Please double-check the final agenda for The Colloquium upon your arrival at the conference.

 

 

 

Stephen Miller, associate professor and department chair of business and information systems at CWW member institution Eastern New Mexico University—Ruidoso, has released his book Framework for SCADA Cybersecurity as an e-book that can be downloaded for free from the website Smashwords.com. The book is used as a class textbook in ENMU-Ruidoso's cybersecurity curriculum.

The book explains the NIST Cybersecurity Critical Infrastructure Framework and how to apply it to new and existing SCADA applications and implementations. It was co-written by Richard H. Clark, a technical specialist and controls engineer at InduSoft concentrating on cybersecurity and third-party product integration.

The e-book, available in epub, mobi (Kindle), and PDF formats, can be downloaded by following this link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/510004. It's necessary to sign up for a free Smashbooks account in order to download Framework for SCADA Cybersecurity. 

 

 

CyberWatch West is organizing two online courses for cybersecurity faculty development this June and July, one on open source collection/intelligence and one on the NICE Framework and Challenges. Each class will be held once a week for five consecutive weeks, and they are both available for free to CyberWatch West members.

Introduction to Open Source Collection / Intelligence will be held on Tuesdays, June 21 through July 19, 4 to 6 p.m. Pacific daylight time. The course will be taught by Anastacia Webster, an adjunct instructor at California State University, San Bernardino.

Need more content for your introductory cybersecurity or ethical hacking class? Step 1 of hacking is reconnaissance. In this course, you’ll learn how information is gathered online with automated tools, as well as how to analyze information with the tools and techniques intelligence agents use. After taking this course, you will be able to develop curriculum that integrates open source collection and analysis.

 

Introduction to the NICE Framework and NICE Challenges will be held on Wednesdays, June 22 through July 20, 4 to 6 p.m. Pacific daylight time. The instructor will be Dr. Vincent Nestler, Instructional Designer, author of The Principles of Computer Security Lab Manual published by McGraw Hill, and assistant director of the Cybersecurity Center at California State University, San Bernardino.

This course will discuss the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Workforce Framework and help faculty understand how to integrate the framework into their curriculum. It will also walk through deployment of the NICE Challenges, realistic scenarios that can be used as part of a class, as a lab, or as homework assignments.

 

 

 

Have you wanted to get your students involved in CyberPatriot but been uncertain how to get started? CyberWatch West is providing faculty, instructors, and teachers with multiple opportunities for CyberPatriot training this spring and summer, both online and in person in Northern California.

The training is designed for middle school and high school teachers wanting to start CyberPatriot teams at their schools, as well as college faculty members interested in hosting CyberPatriot teams on their campuses.

Free two-hour online training sessions will be hosted on select Saturday mornings via WebEx:

To participate, copy and save the link above, follow it on the morning of the training, and sign in a few minutes before the event's start time. Each training session is limited to 90 participants.

CyberPatriot training will also be part of the Western Academy Support & Training Center (WASTC) Faculty Development Week at Sierra College in Rocklin, CA, June 27–July 1.

Providing the training will be CyberWatch West Co-PI Dan Manson; instructor Tobi West, who coordinates local training and competitions for middle schools and high schools to compete in CyberPatriot at Coastline Community College; Irvin Lemus, who has been a coach, mentor, and Regional Coordinator for the CyberPatriot competition for Orange County; and Luis Hernandez, coach for the CyberPatriot teams at Robert F. Kennedy Community School since the inception of a middle school division in 2013.

 

 

CyberWatch West has limited funds available to send select faculty members employed by CyberWatch West member institutions to the Community College Cyber Summit (3CS) being held in Pittsburgh, PA, July 22-24.

CyberWatch West is one of the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) centers organizing and sponsoring the three-day conference, which will be held at the Community College of Allegheny County and will focus on the theme “Expanding the Boundaries of Cybersecurity Programs at Community Colleges.”

Faculty seeking financial assistance to attend 3CS should complete the online application below. Applications will be accepted until April 15, 2016 or until travel funds run out. Please keep in mind that registration for 3CS may fill up quickly.

CyberWatch West will notify applicants on approximately Thursday, March 31 whether they have been selected to receive a travel stipend. Applicants representing member institutions in the United States will be considered for a stipend of $1500.00 to help cover the costs of conference registration, airfare, meals, and hotel accommodations.

Travel stipend recipients will be expected to subsidize all expenses incurred and will be required to submit a completed W-9 IRS form and proof of conference attendance before receiving the stipend.

 


 3CS Travel Stipend Application

 

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