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As security professionals, it should come to no surprise that cyber attackers are becoming more sophisticated and persistent. What is somewhat surprising, however, is the fact that more and more news about cyber attacks are making headline news in the mainstream media.

I was at Black Hat a few weeks ago and even in this austere economy, they had record attendance. In fact, the keynote presentations by Cofer Black, former director of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, focused on cyber attacks. Earlier this year at the RSA Conference, Secretary of Defense William Lynn III, in his keynote not only recognized cyberspace as a domain of warfare, but encouraged a partnership between the DOD and private entities to recruit future professionals.

There are some organizations that are planting the seeds early and training the next generation of cyber security experts:

The US Cyber Challenge: The goal is to train and recruit the brightest minds to serve as cyber security professionals. They organize camps and competitions for high school, college and post-graduate students throughout the nation.HacKid

HacKid: A non-profit organization that hosts hands-on, interactive conferences to raise awareness, excitement and understanding of technology, gaming, mathematics, safety, privacy, networking, security and engineering and their impact on society and culture.

DEFCON Kids: Focuses on content for beginner hackers ages 8-16. The first one was held this year as part of DEFCON 19, the largest hacker gathering in the world. Kids participate in demos and workshops — how to open Master locks, Google Hacking, making Electronics, Social Engineering, coding in Scratch and Communicating in Code.

Crypto Kids: Part of the National Security Agency/Central Security Service, this groups aims at providing interactive games to spark the interest of future codemakers and codebrakers.

Have your kids participated in security-related conferences or organizations? Share your thoughts on how and why you would consider starting them young as white hatters.

Hasta pronto!


If you’re interested in learning how to protect your organization against the vast majority of today’s most common attacks, check out this webcast: Combating “Smash & Grab” Hacking with Tripwire Cybercrime Controls.