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Career Achievement Unlocked—CyberStart Video Game Lets Students Explore Cybersecurity
Move over Fortnite and Overwatch–there’s a new game in town. Provided by the SANS Institute and funded by the National Science Foundation, CyberStart is an online game for students with extraordinary problem-solving skills who are interested in learning more about cybersecurity.
All students with an appetite for challenges (and pizza) are invited to the CyberStart launch party on Friday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m. in 200 Falk College. Attendees will have the opportunity to demo the CyberStart video game and talk with cybersecurity experts from Syracuse University.
Syracuse is one of just nine universities selected by the SANS Institute to participate in the CyberStart program. Chief Information Security Officer Chris Croad and Professor Shiu-Kai Chin from the College of Engineering and Computer Science have partnered to bring CyberStart to campus.
“I’m excited that we’re able to bring this opportunity to all of our students,” Croad said. “CyberStart will help students across all majors learn about a field that effectively has negative unemployment.”
In addition to career opportunities, CyberStart offers a chance to think about the “promise and pitfalls of cyberspace,” according to Chin.
“Our society is increasingly a cyber-physical one, where how we live and what we can do depends on decisions made by electronic systems,” Chin said. “People who understand the cyber nature of the world can help shape it to become a more positive version of itself.”
The CyberStart program offers students across all disciplines an opportunity to learn more about the cybersecurity profession, test their problem-solving skills and learn new technology. The first round (CyberStart Go) consists of unscored gameplay. At the end of the first round, interested students will have the opportunity to move on to the competitive round (CyberStart Game) in March. CyberStart Game offers more advanced challenges and is scored by ITS. The top scorers from the second round will be recognized at a champions’ reception and will receive access to CyberStart Essentials, which provides a deep dive into cybersecurity technology equivalent to roughly 70 hours of professional training.
“My hope is students from all academic areas will give this a try,” Croad said. “Although they might lack the classic ‘cyber skills,’ students who excel in critical thinking and problem solving could discover that they want to further explore the cybersecurity discipline.”