Search for 10,000 Cyber Experts Aims to Guard Cyberspace

May 17, 2010 Updated: May 18, 2010

[xtypo_dropcap]T[/xtypo_dropcap]hree days remain in the United States Cyber Challenge competition. The contest is, essentially, a “talent search to find and develop 10,000 cyber security specialists to help the United States regain the lead in cyberspace,” according to a White House document on the contest.

The contest has drawn an estimated 1,500 high school and college students, who will need to gather as much information as they can about the U.S. Cyber Challenge, and then take two online quizzes about the competition. Winners will go to the Cyber Challenge Summer camps in July and August where they will be trained by cybersecurity experts.

In an age where nearly every government office, industry, and home is connected to the Web, information is just a click away for skilled hackers, and governments are integrating such talents into military ranks. While countries like China have developed full-scale hacker armies, the United States is falling behind.

According to the White House document on the contest, getting today’s youth ready for the challenges in this field is now an important task, “Seizing this opportunity is crucial, because the U.S. is falling behind other countries in cyber security skills development because other countries have made this a national priority and have implemented national talent searches.”

Things are heating up around the world regarding cyber threats. NATO governments were warned on Monday that their military alliance is vulnerable to attack through cyberwarfare.

Also on Monday, amid attempted breaches by Chinese hackers, Indian Defense Minister A. K. Antony told the Indian armed forces to secure their systems to defend against attacks.

“No single service can work in isolation. Cyber warfare and threats to cyber security are fast becoming the next generation of threats. We need to make our cyber systems as secure and as nonporous as possible,” Antony said, according to The Hindu.

In addition to information security, attacks on electrical grids, and other cornerstones of society could lead to chaos.

According to the NATO 2020: Assured Security; Dynamic Engagement report, “A cyber attack that leads to chaos in one city may inspire copycat criminals in another.”

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