Helping the Next Wave of Cyber Sleuths

Three day competition trains high school students

With all the discussions about cyber attacks in the news as of late, BCA was proud to promote the California Cyber Innovation Challenge. It took place June 24-25.

The Central Coast Cyber Forensics Lab is run by Cal Poly with the SLO Co. District Attorney’s Office and the CA Military Department. It opened in March to serve as a classroom for future cybersecurity experts and a high-tech collection facility. The lab at Camp San Luis provides students with hands-on research and a learning environment.

The Cyber Challenge was created to inspire younger cyber sleuths to participate in thwarting and solving cyber crimes.

The Cyber Challenge featured 16 teams of high school students from around the state. They competed in timed challenges designed to replicate the many different threats that cyber officials face, including attacks on critical infrastructure to attempted breaches of consumer data on connected devices.

BCA previously promoted the lab, which garnered considerable publicity. For the challenge, we provided public relations strategy and releases, on-site media coordination and photo/video direction. And, as you can see in this Tribune story, the event was a hit. Students searched vehicles (on loan from Rancho Grande Motors) for an assortment of evidence, and they assembled investigation timelines.

To illustrate the importance of the lab and future cyber attack education, there was news this weekend that our own county elections had faced a cyber threat last November.