The winners will be announced in just a moment, but first the news…
That’s right, the fifth annual running of the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup was covered on television by Channel 10 ABC News who really seem to get how important this event is as a motivator for young people to consider a career in cyber security, one of the hottest job markets today and into the foreseeable future.
For those not yet familiar with the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup, this annual competition, established in 2010, seeks to find and encourage the best cyber security talent in California’s high schools. The competition starts with a practice round, which this year took place in late January. There were over 50 teams participating from more than a dozen schools! The practice round was quickly followed by qualification rounds in February, all conducted over the Internet. Then the top seven qualifying teams came together on March 15 in San Diego for live, head-to-head competition.
And the winners of the 2014 San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup are: Canyon Crest Academy!
The top team received a check for $2,500, presented by former Interim Mayor and City Council Member Todd Gloria, accompanied by fellow City Council Member, Sherri Lightner. Canyon Crest Academy is part of the San Dieguito Union High School District.
And well done to the runners up! In second place was the team from Westview High School, the school that won last year. In third place was Mira Mesa High School. The other teams that made it to the final round were La Jolla Country Day School, Patrick Henry High School, Ramona High School, and 2012 cup winners, Troy High School.
The winning team not only won the title and a year of hosting the very impressive cup that goes with that title, there was also a check. And there were checks for second and third place as well ($1,500 and $1,000 respectively).
But wait, there’s more….The top three teams this year will also be treated to a week of Cyber Boot Camp! Hosted in San Diego by the Internet security company ESET, the Cyber Boot Camp is a lively mix of practical, instructor-led cyber security exercises, plus classroom presentations by experts in a wide range of related fields, from law enforcement to computer forensics, malware research, and career advice. The event will take place during summer recess. Here’s a peek at a past session of Cyber Boot Camp:
Beyond winning great prizes in the Mayor’s Cup, there is a sense in which we all win from this competition. Right now, our country faces a critical shortage of cyber security expertise. One of the main goals of the project is to address that problem. Through the event and the publicity surrounding it we hope to encourage students of all ages, from all schools, to learn more about information assurance and computer security. Hopefully this will lead many more students to consider these and related STEM fields as possible career paths or courses of study in higher education.
This year’s competition would not have been possible without the volunteer work and financial support of many organizations. We will mention some here, but this list is by no means exhaustive. Thanks to Leidos for the use of CyberNEXS, the competition engine used in the event. The Mayor’s Cup is sponsored by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA), in cooperation with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). With additional support from National University, SDG&E, DTI, TSG Solutions, Blue Pyramid, Minuteman Press, ISSA, TechFlow, DCS Corp, La Jolla Logic, Major Motion Pixels, Bridgepoint Education. Additional sponsors and supporters include Securing Our eCity Foundation, Computers 2 San Diego Kids, ESET, and The Ranger Group. With further assistance from Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Worden and Mr. & Mrs. Dwayne Junker.
We leave you with a photo of the very happy, and decidely cool, third place finishers, Mira Mesa High School: