The 6-year-old U.S. Cyber Challenge is going strong, as participation in its online competition and cyber boot camps continues to grow, says Karen Evans, the organization's national director.
"What we're trying to do is really broaden the aperture of getting people involved in the U.S. Cyber Challenge through a series of online competitions," Evans says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "Then, based on their performance from those online competitions, we invite them to an in-person camp experience - a cyber boot camp - that we hold and host in the summer."
U.S. Cyber Challenge operates four boot camps around the nation. The one-week sessions are open to the top performers of the online competition. With instructors from the SANS Institute and ISC2, campers are exposed to what it would be like to be a cybersecurity professional, Evans says, "in hopes that they would pursue an education and career path so we can fill the critical needs for the nation."
In the interview, Evans discusses:
- How the online challenge works, and how winners are picked to attend the camps;
- Support her organization provides to CyberCompEx, a social network in which members gain access to the tools needed to develop their IT security careers; and
- The growing number of women participating in the competitions.
The U.S. Cyber Challenge is part of the Center for Internet Security, which also runs the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
Evans is the former administrator for e-government and information technology in the White House Office of Management and Budget, a position that today is known as the federal CIO. In her 28 years of federal government service, she served as the CIO of the Department of Energy. Before joining the Energy Department, Evans served as director of the Information Management Division with the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs.