Friday, June 21, 2024

BPCC, Cybint team for first-ever higher ed and business cyber training

by BIZ. Staff

Leading Louisiana IT professionals recently matched their cyber wits and skills in the first-ever Cyber Range Competition and Workshop, a unique cyber experience including an educational session led by global cyber experts and a cyber security competition set within one of the world’s most advanced Cyber Range environments.

Hosted by Bossier Parish Community College (BPCC) and cyber education leader Cybint, a BARBRI company, the June 1 event featured five of the area’s leading IT businesses, including some such as CenturyLink, Technologix Group, and Enterprise Computing Services (ECS).  Company representatives participated in one of two 90-minute competitions where they faced cyber threats and situations based on real-life scenarios and were challenged to mitigate and resolve them as quickly as possible. The winning teams each received five scholarships from Cybint for its Cyber Security Analyst Simu-Lab Suite to be awarded to BPCC students in the winners’ company names.

The two winning teams included John Sonnier, Jason Klosterman, and Cynthia Eaton from ECS and Dustin Patterson, AJ Withem, Patrick Holladay, and Paul Williams.

After completing the range competition, participants received an in-depth briefing from Cybint CEO and global cyber intelligence expert, Roy Zur, on current cyber threats, the Dark Web, cyber intelligence, and other timely cyber topics.

“We’re very proud to be the first institution in Louisiana and one of the earliest in the nation to bring together businesses in an educational environment to ‘compete’ in a setting this advanced and state-of-the-art,” said Dr. Rick Bateman, BPCC Chancellor.  “This type of event reinforces the value of collaboration between higher-ed and the business community in cyber education and developing skilled professionals in the IT industry.”

BPCC-Cybint Cyber Range Competition team winners: Cynthia Eaton, John Sonnier, and Jason Klosterman. Others pictured: BPCC’s Dean of Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (TEM) Megan Martin (left) & Assistant Dean of TEM Paul Spivey (far right)

“Across the globe, we’re facing a significant shortage of cyber expertise. That will only be resolved if the private and education sectors work closely together,” said Zur. “Our goal with the cyber range competition was to bring together businesses and educators to experience realistic cyber security challenges in a life-like environment and see first-hand the type of expertise that must be developed. We hope that our partnership with Bossier Parish Community College and local companies will help foster cyber literacy and unique career opportunities for Louisiana professionals.”

Will Heflin, Chief Technology Officer of Technologix Group, said, “As a cyber security and networking professional, it’s important to have the right tools and knowledge in order to combat cyber attacks and to be prepared when an actual attack occurs.  Seeing Cybint’s cyber range first-hand allows us to evaluate training labs that could potentially be embedded in BPCC’s IT programs and also assure we are continually assessing new hacking techniques. The cyber range event was a great opportunity to showcase the level of collaboration and innovation happening here in north Louisiana!”

Funding for the Cyber Range Competition and Workshop was made possible through a Rapid Response grant through the state of Louisiana.

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