For the first time, Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) will open the doors to its Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) to all students interested in digital privacy and security – not just the so-called “cyber ninjas” who qualified as national finalists in feats of digital forensics, ethical hacking and research.
The eighth annual CSAW finals – joined for the first time by Kaspersky’s American Cup at NYU-Poly – will be held Nov. 10 – 11, 2011, on NYU-Poly’s downtown Brooklyn campus. It is expected to attract up to 400 student finalists, professionals, academics and guests.
Student guests may register for the conference hosted by Kaspersky Lab; a career fair including some of the country’s most prestigious employers of cyber security; a chance to win cash prizes of up to $1,000 and NYU-Poly scholarships of up to $5,000 in the fast-paced Quiz Tournament; and networking opportunities with internationally recognized security professionals and accomplished scholars from high school through doctoral programs. Student guests may also watch the various challenges and listen to presentations by some of the best young researchers in the field who will be competing in the AT&T Research Paper Award Challenge as well as the Kaspersky American Cup Challenge.
CSAW will close with an awards ceremony with keynote speaker Don Proctor, Cisco senior vice president and leader of its Cybersecurity Task Force. All events are free of charge but registration is required at http://www.poly.edu/csaw2011/award_schedule.
“We are encouraging all university students to join us during CSAW to explore cyber security as a course of study that is challenging and increasingly important to society,” said Nasir Memon, director of NYU-Poly’s cyber security program. “Our students who lead the CSAW challenges have always worked to ensure that excitement and fun are part of the formula that makes NYU-Poly’s cyber security games different. This year, Kaspersky Lab’s conference will complement the ‘awareness’ element of CSAW, and NYU-Poly will expand its outreach to reach more high school students at the time they are making important decisions on their educational paths.”
The need for cyber security professionals is fierce: Government officials have estimated that 30,000 highly skilled professionals are needed but only 1,000 exist. Electrical engineering, computer engineering and computer science – all paths of entry into the field -- rank among the ten undergraduate college majors that lead to the highest salaries by PayScale.com.
The NYU-Poly CSAW challenges are among the oldest and broadest student-led competitions, and encourage awareness of the increasing threats to privacy and security issues for individuals, governments, business and smart infrastructure. The difficult challenges and the final round of competitions encourage students to build networks with others in the field to help keep abreast of the fast-changing knowledge base.
The elimination rounds attracted a record number of participants, with finalists winning travel to New York to participate in the finals. Challenges include the Quiz Tournament; High School Cyber Forensics Challenge; Capture the Flag Application Security Challenge, a software hacking competition; the Embedded Systems Challenge, which covers hardware hacking and security; the NYU-Poly AT&T Best Applied Security Paper Award for published student research; the Kaspersky American Cup Challenge at NYU-Poly’s CSAW for research; and the Security Awareness Video contest.
NYU-Poly was one of the earliest schools to introduce a cyber security program, receiving National Security Agency (NSA) approval a decade ago. Designated as both a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and a Center of Academic Excellence in Research by the NSA, the school houses a National Science Foundation-funded Information Systems and Internet Security Laboratory, the nerve center of cyber security research. The Sloan Consortium, an affiliation of educators and institutions dedicated to quality online education, named NYU-Poly’s cyber security program as the Outstanding Online Program for 2011.
NYU-Poly is also expanding the field of inquiry through an innovative cyber security program for graduate and doctoral students that addresses social aspects of privacy and security such as law, business, government policy and psychology. Its CSAW experience with high schools will lead to a new program next year for high schools. It will include training for high school teachers, summer boot camp and a web portal to network and support emerging talent.
The importance of cyber security education is evidenced by the CSAW sponsor list: AT&T, AccessData, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cisco, Facebook, Gotham Digital Science, Hewlett-Packard Company, Huawei, Intel, International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants, Kaspersky Lab, Lockheed Martin, Matasano, National Science Foundation, Raytheon, Research In Motion, Sandia National Laboratories, State Street, Stroz Friedberg, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Research Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Xilinx.