Security Awareness Programs & Computer-Based Training , Video

Video: Why Cyber Challenge is Needed

The Takeaway from Summertime of Competitions
Video: Why Cyber Challenge is Needed

Karen Evans understands the skepticism some might have with the U.S. Cyber Challenge being a vehicle to find upward of 30,000 IT security pros needed to protect key government and national IT systems when, this past summer, only three challenges were held - in California, Delaware and New York - with some five dozen competitors, mostly college-age computer science majors.

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But Evans, U.S. Cyber Challenge director, said the lessons learned from the competitions should help the government and business develop programs to identify, train and recruit cybersecurity specialists.

"The idea is to get a repeatable process and learn from this pilot effort," Evans said in an interview with "These are the pioneers going through this. A lot of the feed back they'll give us will help shape program going forward."

In the interview - conducted at a recent competition and camp at New York University's Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y. - Evans also addressed:

  • Metrics U.S. Cyber Challenge will develop to determine whether its efforts will succeed.
  • The highly competitive nature of competitors
  • How the cyber challenge helps competitors stay away from the "dark side" of hacking.

In 2011, Evans said U.S. Cyber Challenge hopes to hold similar competitions in 35 states.'s Eric Chabrow interviewed Evans, the former administrator for e-government and IT in the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The U.S Cyber Challenge was created through the auspices of Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank, with private-sector support, including the SANS Institute, which provided campers with cybersecurity training.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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