Cybersecurity, U.S. military, cyber warfare, infrastructure protection | Homeland Security Newswire

CybersecurityMulti-laboratory cyber defense competition

Published 19 March 2018

In little over two weeks, over a hundred college students from across the United States will convene in one of the largest cyber defense competitions in the nation. The event, hosted and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s (OE) Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Division, will take place on 6-7 April 2018. This event will be simultaneously hosted at three of the Department’s national laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

In little over two weeks, over a hundred college students from across the United States will convene in one of the largest cyber defense competitions in the nation. The event, hosted and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s (OE) Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration Division, will take place on 6-7 April 2018. This event will be simultaneously hosted at three of the Department’s national laboratories: Argonne National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

The competition challenges students to respond to a scenario based on a real-world challenge of vital importance: protecting the nation’s energy-related critical infrastructure from the cyber threat. Supporting the development of a strong, agile cyber workforce is a top priority for the Department. At this year’s event, students will compete to build and defend a simulated oil and natural gas network from a team of attacking security professionals, while maintaining the energy delivery services required by a team of users and customers. This competition incorporates components to add to the realism of this scenario, including a barrage of injected “anomaly” events, by which teams can earn additional points, and users who rank teams on the usability and reliability of their delivery services. A winner will be announced at each laboratory site, and an overall winner will be announced following the event.

ANL says that through activities such as this annual cyber competition, the Department of Energy is promoting the development of a workforce of cyber professionals with competencies relevant to the energy sector, and raising awareness of the cutting edge cybersecurity and critical infrastructure innovation happening in the Department of Energy and across the national laboratories.

Industry fairs will be hosted alongside the competition. These fairs will enable students to explore career opportunities and network with peers while testing their skills and learning new ones. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, career opportunities for cybersecurity professionals are expected to grow over 28 percent by 2026, faster than all other computer and IT occupations. Meanwhile, according to the Information System Security Association, the gap between open positions and qualified applicants is projected to widen by over 3.5 million over the next two years. Events like this one encourage students to consider careers in the field and help drive growth of the workforce.