16-year-old Reilly Harrington said:
DENVER — The world of data breaches and hackers on the internet has increased the demand for cybersecurity workers.
But like many industries, there aren’t enough of them.
According to this year’s Cybersecurity Workforce survey, there is a shortage of 3.7 million cybersecurity professionals. Denver’s Metropolitan State University is trying to change that by welcoming and supporting young students interested in this field.
Middle and high school students from D’Evelyn High School gathered inside MSU Denver’s Cyber Range on Saturday to participate in the CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Defense Competition.
“It’s like removing unauthorized users, finding backdoors, removing malware from computers,” says 16-year-old Reilly Harrington. Please remove the malicious ones. ”
Harrington is a junior at D’Evelyn High School and has been on the all-girls CyberPatriot team since grade seven.
“I think it’s a lot of fun and interesting,” Harrington said. “I like programming, but I only like protecting systems.”
The contest lasts 5 hours. Although she’s a lot of fun, Harrington says she can be stressful at times.
“Sometimes the last 15 minutes when you’re trying to finish it all, it’s pretty nerve-wracking and trying to figure out what to do,” she said. , how to do it more efficiently. ”
“CyberPatriot is like an elaborate Capture the Flag game, but it’s also a way to work in teams,” said Jeffrey London, professor of criminology at MSU Denver. “They are using their analytical skills to try to solve problems.”
London also says it’s a great way to teach kids how to stay safe online.
“It’s really exciting for me to see them coming together as a group, having common interests, and actually starting to have fun while they work,” he said.
London said cyber security professionals are in short supply and the need is growing by the day as cyber attacks continue to evolve and multiply.
“Right now there are about 700,000 vacancies in America that are very well paid,” said London. “There is a huge need for women in general in the cybersecurity field right now.”
Harrington wants to go to college for cybersecurity and computer science.
“It’s interesting to learn about the different types of techniques to use, what types of things to look for, and how to solve the problems you find,” she said.
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