The 2014-2015 San Diego Mayors’ Cyber Cup competition came to a dramatic conclusion last Saturday when the eight finalists battled it out at the San Diego Super Computer Center at UCSD for top honors. In case you missed the headline in the Ramona Sentinel, here is the result:
The team and its mentors and supporters deserve a huge round of applause. While Ramona is a lovely town, it is not exactly the kind of bustling metropolis you normally associate with all things techie. But during its six years, the Mayors’ Cyber Cup competition has done an amazing job of raising awareness of cybersecurity as both a great career choice and a vital part of life in every corner of San Diego County, and beyond.
Communities really get behind their teams, as you can see from this local headline: Del Norte High students learn cybersecurity, vie for Mayor’s Cup. The eight finalists were teams from the following schools, listed here in the order they finished in this year’s competition: Ramona High School; Mira Mesa High School; Westview High School; Robert F. Kennedy Middle School; Troy High School; Canyon Crest Academy; Robert F. Kennedy High School; Del Norte High School.
For those not yet familiar with the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Cup, this annual competition, now in its sixth year, 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 teams score points for defending computer systems against attackers.
The practice round was quickly followed by qualification rounds in February, all conducted over the Internet. Then the top eight qualifying teams came together on March 15 in San Diego for the live, head-to-head competition, followed by an awards ceremony.
Each year, the top three teams in the competition win a check for their school. And in the past, the top team has been offered a five day “Cyber Boot Camp” hosted by security solution provider ESET. This intensive, hands-on learning, combines lab work with lectures from security experts, and ample career advice for those who are thinking of pursuing their interest in cybersecurity. (Yes, there is a huge shortage of people skilled in cybersecurity.)
Last year, the top three teams were invited, and in 2015, in a surprise announcement that had the awards ceremony on its feet, the top eight teams were invited! (Update: for more about the 2015 Cyber Boot Camp, see here.)