Part of the expanded CyberForce Program to help develop tomorrow’s energy cyber workforce
Today the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) announced the winner of the first CyberForce Conquer the Hill Competition - Adventurer Edition, one of two virtual missions designed to test participants’ cyber knowledge and skills through realistic cybersecurity tasks that an energy sector cybersecurity employee might face.
Cameron Whitehead from the University of Central Florida won the competition and was named the 2021 Conqueror of the Hill for the Adventurer Edition Competition – a virtual, individual mission that tests participants cyber knowledge, skills, and abilities through the use of anomalies.
Conquer the Hill - Adventurer Edition is part of CyberForce, an element of DOE’s workforce development program. CyberForce started in 2016 as an annual collegiate level competition where teams defend simulated energy infrastructure from cyber-attacks. Since 2016, the main event, CyberForce Competition® has grown from eight competing teams in 2016 to one hundred teams in 2019 and more than 200 individual students competing virtually in 2020.
This year, led by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), CyberForce is expanding to include two Conquer the Hill competitions, a webinar series, a virtual career fair, and an online workforce portal where students will be able to evaluate their cyber skills, check job boards, and learn about upcoming events and training.
“The CyberForce program continues to inspire the next generation of energy cybersecurity professionals,” said Puesh Kumar, CESER Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. “The expansion of the program reflects DOE’s commitment to developing the highly skilled cyber workforce we need to defend our nation’s critical energy infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks.”
Registration for the next CyberForce Conquer the Hill Competition - Reign Edition opened on July 19, and the competition will be held on September 18. Conquer the Hill not only offers students more chances to compete, it opens the field to individuals who may not have access to a collegiate team.
“The expanded CyberForce program gives students of all backgrounds a chance to participate, regardless of where they live or where they go to school. Everyone is encouraged to participate – from first-year college students to graduating seniors,” said Amanda Joyce, CyberForce program director and cybersecurity analysis group lead at ANL.