Program Allows Students to Learn and Work With Cyber Security

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa is one of seven states to start a training program on cyber security with students.

High school students starting at the age of 16 through college will have the opportunity to learn cyber security skills.

The program, CyberStart, is being funded by privately owned cyber security company SANS Institute.

Iowa's Chief Information Security Officer, Jeff Franklin, said cyber security is the job of the future.

“We are trying to build cyber security defenders. In state government, all we do is come in everyday and we defend our IT environment. And all of your data, all of my data, all of Iowa’s data that we require that you submit. So whether it’s drivers licenses, Social Security numbers or anything that you have submit that is confidential to you and private to you that we are in charge of defending, that is what we are charged with doing,” Franklin said.

The program gives students the opportunity to use problem solving skills and solve puzzles.

Students will compete in at least four challenges and will be invited to take part in the full version. Students will also have the chance to win scholarships, which are sponsored by the SANS Institute.

“These are jobs of the future and these are jobs that are going to provide good salaries for the kids, build them a nice life and being able to get a good education,” Franklin said.

Students have until midnight Thursday to apply for the program.