Building on the success of the inaugural June issue of SIGNAL Kids, AFCEA is proud to report the second issue will be released in December. The focus of the issue is cybersecurity, featuring an international section and an interview with a chief architect from the Naval Information Warfare Center.
The first issue was viewed by more than 13,000 readers and downloaded almost 200 times. AFCEA has long been committed to STEM learning and, especially in the time of COVID-19 when virtual learning is the new normal, is pleased to provide this additional resource to parents and educators.
When Rear Adm. Danelle Barrett, USN (Ret.), joined the Navy in 1989, she couldn’t program her VCR. Now she’s proud to say she can program a router. A history major who grew up in Buffalo, New York, and graduated from Boston University, she hoped to escape the cold weather when she joined the Navy.
“I want to live somewhere warm, I don’t even care what the job is,” Adm. Barrett admitted during the Women in the Workforce: A Journey in STEM virtual event. “So it was serendipity that somebody looked out for me and gave me a great job in communications on my first tour.”
From plumbing to space travel, the vast majority of future good-paying jobs will involve technology. Not only will these careers offer regularly increased salaries but also opportunities for advancement and, even more importantly, independence. These are some of Irma Becerra’s beliefs borne of personal experience, a deep passion for technology and a personal purpose in education.
Laahiri Chalasani’s passion for STEM didn’t really begin until college. Now, as senior manager of Lab Experience at the Children’s Science Center in Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax, Virginia, and co-founder of the Latina SciGirls program in Northern Virginia, she lives and breathes it. And, she wants to make sure it doesn’t take young girls until college to build their STEM confidence.
Legacy methods and arcane rules are hamstringing U.S. intelligence analysis at a time when it should be innovating. From training, which needs to shift emphasis to more basic skills, to collection and processing, which must branch into nontraditional areas, intelligence must make course corrections to solve inflexibility issues, according to a onetime intelligence official.
Since 2012, AFCEA has provided courses and event sessions that support continuing education for cybersecurity certification maintenance. One certifying organization supporting AFCEA is CompTIA, which reviews sessions for continuing education units (CEUs) for A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Cloud+, PenTest+, CySA+ and CASP+. In addition, GIAC reviews event material that may qualify as continuing professional education (CPE) for GIAC certifications, and CertNexus reviews material for continuing education credits (CECs) for CFR and CIoTP.
Regardless of technical expertise, organizational skills or resources, parents around the world are struggling to keep their children engaged as they settle into a routine of home schooling. The conflicting educational requirements, distractions of home life and stressed family dynamics make both teaching and learning a challenge in the stay-at-home world
The U.S. Marine Corps University’s Krulak Center is searching for a professor of cybersecurity.
The primary responsibility is to serve as the full-time university cybersecurity expert.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens with expertise in cybersecurity issues, including offensive and defensive policies and procedures to inform teaching and research. They also must possess, or obtain within one year of employment, an earned terminal degree in a related field from an accredited college or university in a discipline related to cybersecurity.
By now, it’s well known there is a cybersecurity workforce gap throughout all levels of government, academia and industry. The Center for Strategic and International Studies found in a survey of IT decisionmakers across eight countries that 82 percent of employers report a shortage of cybersecurity skills, and 71 percent believe this talent gap causes direct and measurable damage to their organizations.
The most senior military cyber warfighters have defined the challenge of building a world-class cybersecurity workforce: We have great performers but not enough. Our accessions can barely keep pace with attrition; but we are scheduled to grow. We need a viable plan to increase capacity.
During a panel session at the Cyber Education, Research and Training Symposium (CERTS) in Augusta, Georgia, cybersecurity leaders discussed how to build the people who can protect the nation against the tens of thousands of very high-end professionals that Russia and China are putting out.
Personnel working in cyber must continually look for opportunities to learn, say cyber professionals from across government.
During a morning panel discussion on the final day of the AFCEA TechNet Cyber conference in Baltimore, high-ranking officials from the Defense Department, Department of Homeland Security and National Security Agency discussed a wide range of issues concerning the cyber workforce today and tomorrow.
Recruiting and maintaining a cybersecurity workforce is a complicated challenge for the government. According to the Information System Security Certification Consortium, 85 percent of cybersecurity professionals would consider leaving their current jobs. Information technologists do not need to search for positions that are exciting, respect their expertise, help them become more marketable and pay well because as many as 18 percent of non-active job seekers are contacted daily by employers seeking them out.
There is not enough skilled talent for the growing need of the cyber community. Based on a state-by-state analysis on cyberchair.org, there are currently 320,000 open cyber jobs in the United States. Projections get worse. According to a CISCO report, by 2020 there will be 1 million unfilled cyber positions worldwide.
“We need to make systemic changes to address that gap,” said Rob Joyce, senior cybersecurity strategy advisor to the director, National Security Agency (NSA), and former cybersecurity advisor to the president.
The U.S. Army is making multiple changes to the way it educates soldiers fighting in the cyber and electronic warfare domains. Rather than training soldiers on step-by-step processes, the service is educating personnel to come up with their own solutions on a technologically complex battlefield.
A survey of thousands of information technology professionals reveals that a majority of organizations have too few security workers and nearly half do not provide adequate resources for security training. According to the “IT Professionals Are a Critically Underutilized Resource for Cybersecurity” study, 51 percent of the respondents said their systems are less able to defend against a cyber attack compared to a year ago.
The military services offer warfighters extensive opportunities for professional development. Unfortunately, many fail to explore all available options. They lose the advantage of professional growth, and the country misses out on innovative thinkers who could help meet ongoing and future challenges.
The strategic focus for the realignment of military force has changed since the months immediately following the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The complexity of asymmetric warfare and engagement in proxy wars has forced the U.S. Defense Department to ensure that only the most qualified members remain in the military.
Northeastern University will develop a system that organizations and individuals can use to audit and control personally identifiable information leaks from connected devices. The research team will investigate how to use machine learning to reliably identify the information in network flows and will develop algorithms that incorporate user feedback to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of privacy leaks.
I was walking our two dogs listening to a “Stuff Mom Never Told You” podcast when the women in STEM idea piqued my interest. The topic intrigued me mostly because I thought in 2016 the issue of gender in the workplace had been settled. In a way, I was right. Career options for women were no longer limited to teaching, nursing or the nunnery.
Participants of the entire mini-boot camp, which showcases CompTIA’s newest security certification, the CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+), will receive a free 30-day CSA+ Practice Lab evaluation license.
AFCEA International’s Continuing Education (CE) program has grown dramatically since its start in 2012. The program primarily supports maintenance of CompTIA and Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) related to Department of Defense Directive 8570.01-M compliance but also fulfills some continuing education and cybersecurity certification maintenance requirements for the (ISC)2, the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), the Project Management Institute (PMI), the Generally Accepted Government Auditing Standards (GAGAS) and the Defense Acquisition Workforce. In addition, AFCEA Leadership Forums have been approved for George Mason University continuing education units (CEUs).
Today marks the 14th annual Safer Internet Day, a global campaign to make the cyber domain a littler safer, especially for children. This year’s theme, “Be the change: Unite for a better Internet,” highlights how all of society has a role to play in cybersecurity, and that working together creates a safer Internet, according to a campaign statement.
High school students should begin now to voice interest to participate in an annual ethics and leadership program that seeks to equip students with skills to process and handle difficult life situations.
Each year, the West Point Leadership and Ethics Conference (WPLEC) draws roughly 200 juniors in the Washington, D.C., area for a day of learning, camaraderie, solving ethical dilemmas and even having some fun, program founders say. Faculty members from 46 area high schools also attend, with some earning continuing education credit for participation.
When students studying cybersecurity return to Capitol Technology University in Maryland this fall, cash scholarships donated by a former adjunct professor will aid at least two of them.
Nischit Vaidya, president and CEO of Argotis, is driven by a love of education and a desire to give back to his community. The new scholarship program—created in his parents' names—accomplishes that quest and provides a legacy honoring his parents, who endured years of hard work and worry to see their son succeed, he says. “For me, the biggest thing is my mom and dad.”
Continue your education through one of AFCEA’s preferred providers. Earn advanced degrees and certifications at your own pace, according to your schedule, through a flexible online or classroom environment—and at a discounted rate as a member of AFCEA.
The AFCEA Leadership Forum is a professional development program for government, military and industry midlevel managers in the defense, intelligence and homeland security communities. Attendees actively participate in six sessions, or 12 instructional hours, that combine lecture and classroom instruction with presentations from senior leaders representing military, government, industry and academia. Formal and informal networking opportunities complement the program.
Cybersecurity is not one of the attractive career fields that tend to draw job seekers in droves to job fairs, especially among today’s young people now entering the work force, experts say. It has been a fairly ill-defined occupation, and that has led to the creation of a U.S. government office to work to codify requirements and job descriptions. It also has prompted a discourse about whether to professionalize the line of work as the United States struggles with a critical shortage of experts qualified to keep safe the networks that handle the cornucopia of personal, government and business information in the booming digital world.
If you’re like most consumers, shopping on the Internet has become a common occurrence. In 2014, more than 1.12 billion people worldwide shopped online; in the U.S. alone, 196.6 million shoppers took to the Web, according to online statistics portal Statista. Internet shopping is expected to continue its exponential rise during the next five years. As Dr. Vince Patton, executive director for the AFCEA Educational Foundation, puts it, “Online shopping is no longer the wave of the future. It’s here now and has become a new normal.”
With this free education app, knowledge is literally at your fingertips. The Khan Academy iPad app features more than 3,200 videos from the nonprofit organization's extensive library. The Khan Academy aims to provide free world-class education for anyone, anywhere, and this app does just that. The materials and resources available for viewing and download cover topics ranging from math to biology, chemistry, finance, history and the humanities, among others. Use the app to create entire playlists to watch offline at your own pace; follow along with subtitles; track your progress; and view your achievements.
Think you're a history buff? Put yourself to the test with the DocsTeach app for iPad that presents challenges based on documents from the U.S. National Archives. The mobile teaching tool generates activities based on primary source documents such as the U.S. Constitution, a canceled check for the purchase of Alaska and Thomas Edison's patent drawing for the light bulb. Simply pick a historical era or topic and take on the challenge. In addition, teachers can create a free account at DocsTeach.org. This enables them to share a classroom code with students who can take on assigned activities on iPad devices.
A new social language app for the iPhone takes learning out of the classroom. The free PlaySay app connects English and Spanish speaking players in a game setting where the goal is to practice real phrases and improve pronunciation. To play, simple take on a series of missions within the app that revolve around real-life scenarios such as introducing yourself or ordering food. PlaySay uses speech-recognition technology to evaluate your pronunciation and provide feedback. The app then tracks the phrases and keeps score of which items you've mastered. See PlaySay in action in this video.
Imagine taking Ivy League courses without stepping foot inside a classroom or paying a dime. Thanks to the iTunes U app, you can access thousands of free classes from universities and schools around the globe right on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. The free iTunes U app provides complete classes created and taught by leading instructors from institutions in 26 countries, including Stanford, Yale and MIT. The courses cover thousands of subjects from algebra to zoology, and app users have access to more than 500,000 free resources.
For my article in the February 2010 edition of SIGNAL Magazine, titled "Research in the Final Frontier," I interviewed members of the Defense Department's Human Spaceflight Payloads Office and Space Test Program about the experiments they help put into space. The projects impressed me, as did the sources' firm belief in the importance of what they do to help warfighters.