BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Circadence® Corporation, a market leader in cybersecurity training and assessments, announced that Project Ares® will be the exclusive platform used during the 2017-18 SoCal Cyber Cup Challenge, which is a joint project by Securing Our eCity Foundation, National Defense Industrial Association and National University, with support from ScaleMatrix.
Project Ares brings a new level of sophistication to the competition, which challenges teams of cyber-interested middle and high school students to showcase their cyber skills for a chance to earn scholarship funding. The next generation cybersecurity training platform provides this year’s competitors with a self-guided, active learning experience that builds foundational to advanced skills through practical, hands-on exercises featuring real-world cyber tools within realistic virtual environments.
“There is a growing need for skilled cybersecurity professionals, so as an industry, we must actively engage in programs that foster within youth an interest in cyber careers,” said Mike Moniz, co-founder and CEO of Circadence. “Project Ares is an ideal platform for this competition because it offers exceptional skills training in a gamified setting that will appeal to these young students.”
Throughout the competition, students have access to minigames, which utilize repetitive learning techniques to better train users on basic to advanced concepts. They will also train in battle rooms, which teach critical tasks based on the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) Cybersecurity Workforce Framework and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework.
During qualifying rounds and finals, teams of five to eight students will compete in full-scale cyber missions requiring participants to use their sharpened skills to defend high-fidelity virtual networks in realistic threat scenarios. The Project Ares artificial intelligence (AI) component will serve as a mission guide and automated scorer, assessing each team in terms of proficiency, accuracy and speed.
“Project Ares brings an unprecedented level of realism and visual superiority to the competition,” said Liz Fraumann, executive director for the Securing Our eCity Foundation. “These students have grown up with video games and smart phones. The Project Ares user interface and gamified approach to training are appealing to the next generation of cyber warriors.”
Approximately 30 teams are already preparing for the competition, and registration is open through December 31. For more information, visit http://socal.cc.
Circadence® Corporation is a market leader in next-generation cybersecurity education and training. Circadence’s ecosystem is the first fully immersive, AI-powered cybersecurity training and assessment platform for government and enterprise organizations. Circadence’s solutions modernize outdated and largely generic cybersecurity training with an advanced online gaming platform that delivers persistent, immersive, and real-to-life experiences that match and adapt to a contemporary threat environment. For more information on Circadence, visit www.circadence.com/.
About Securing Our eCity Foundation
Securing Our eCity Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on cybersecurity awareness and education. Their mission is to enable every San Diegan to live, work and play safely in the cyber world. The Foundation, formed in late 2011, is based on an initiative started in mid-2008 by ESET North America, an internet security company. Supported through generous donations from organizations like ESET North America and San Diego Gas & Electric, SOeC helps facilitate a safer cyber experience for digital citizens in the greater San Diego area. For more information, visit www.securingourecity.org.
About NDIA San Diego Chapter
The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) San Diego Chapter is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides trusted leadership through the convening and collaboration of global leaders to solve the most complex challenges in Defense and National Security. NDIA’s membership embodies the full spectrum of corporate, government, academic and individual stakeholders who advocate for a strong, vigilant and innovative Security and Defense for the United States, its allies and partners. Getting our kids and community involved in STEM programs is one of NDIA San Diego Chapter's outreach initiatives. For more information, visit www.ndia-sd.org.
About National University
National University is among the largest private nonprofit universities in California, and is one of just six universities in California — and the only one in San Diego County — to be designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. Dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible to a diverse population of students, National University offers more than 100 graduate and undergraduate degrees, onsite and online, including master’s and bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity, and 23 teacher credentials. http://www.nu.edu/