Some students at Mount Aloysius College are getting inside the mind of a hacker to “beat them at their own game.”
“There’s definitely a need to understand this,”
Studies show that about 30,000 websites are hacked every day in the United States, with cyber crime costing nearly $7 billion in 2021.
With countries using cybersecurity as a weapon and cyber criminals ramping up their scams Williams said the need to learn this skill will keep growing.
“Understanding how the adversary works will make you a better defender or a better person within the realm of cybersecurity,”
These students aren’t just learning about it, they’re competing by putting their skills to the test.
The Mount’s Cyber Defense Team started about a year ago.
Students compete virtually in the National Cyber League (NCL) against thousands of schools and tens of thousands of students across the United States.
Information Technology major Chris Winters competed in the national competition.
“It’s a nice bridge between the classroom and the work environment. What tools am I going to be using? What skills, knowledge, and abilities do I need,”
From cracking passwords to exploiting a website, students learn to be a hacker to understand problems, but also to be an investigator to solve problems.
Elissa McGee said the Cyber Defense Team is helping her develop skills in addition to her IT studies.
“You really get to see the different levels of encryption, and how easy or hard it is to break. So, not only is it teaching me how to do it, but it’s also teaching me on the other side that I need to protect my passwords and my information as well,”
Statistics show that currently in the United States, there are about 700,000 cybersecurity jobs that need to be filled.
School leaders say that begins in the classroom learning the basics of how computers work then moving up to cybersecurity specialties.
“We help to try and train students up to become those cyber professionals in order to fill that gap in order to achieve that goal that as a country we obviously need to achieve,”