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CyberForce Competition Provides Hands-On Cyber Security Experience (Text Version)

On November 16, 2019, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL co-hosted the fifth annual Department of Energy (DOE) CyberForce Competition, which challenges student teams to defend simulated infrastructure from attacks. Learn more at cyberforcecompetition.com.

Video opens with Karl Olson, Student Participant, onscreen.

There is no better way to get experience in cybersecurity than going to a competition and just jumping right into it.

Montage of cybersecurity images and the CyberForce logo.

Rob Ivester, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, appears onscreen.

This event is a really important demonstration of a growing need in the technologies because it brings students together and gives them a hands-on, realistic experiment to run where they get to develop solutions and address cyber vulnerability challenges in real-time and see the fruits of their labor and how they affect real-world devices.

Various shots of students, at their computers, during the CyberForce Competition.

Jon White, Manger of CyberPhysical Energy Systems Security at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory appears onscreen.

So, the CyberForce event is really unique in that it's the only event the country focused on industrial control systems. So, those are devices that control everyday processes, like chemical plants, factories, natural gas flows, as well as the electric systems.

Shot of a miniature solar PV panel, used by one of the competing teams. Over-the-shoulder shot of a student competitor looking at rows of computer code on a large monitor.

Justin Whitehead, CEO of Digital Silence, appears onscreen.

We're trying to make sure that the students can actually get the knowledge and see what it's like to be under a constant attack, much like pretty much critical infrastructure is already.

Footage of industry participants working during the competition. 

Rob Ivester, Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program, appears onscreen.

The real-time nature of the challenge here and the dynamic aspects of it, really drive students to learn at a massively accelerated pace, compared to what they experience in a typical classroom environment. At the end of the day, they're exhausted but they've probably had a whole semester worth of learning crammed into a single day.

Cutaway shots of various students competing in the event. 

Ryan Manning, Principal Architect at Cavalry Solutions appears onscreen.

I'm excited to see how well they're doing and the approaches that they're coming up with to defend that infrastructure...It makes it exciting to think about working with more competent and skilled people in the future...it's a good thing. 

Cutaway shots of various students competing in the event.

Wide shot of a room full of competitors.

Shot of industry participants.

Karl Olson, Student Participant, appears onscreen.

This competition has been probably one of the best organized and most valuable experiences because it gave us time to learn on the front end so, it's not show up at the competition and you know,  quick rush to find a couple of vulnerabilities. We actually had time to think about how we would structure our systems, how we would structure our network, and I think that was a really valuable experience.

And then showing up at the competition...everything was really well run...Especially here at NREL, we thank goodness everyone that had a hand in setting everything up. 

Various shots of NREL staff and industry participants supporting the event.

Shot of the 2019 CyberForce Competition medals.

Jon White, Manger of CyberPhysical Energy Systems Security at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory appears onscreen.

We're so very excited for next year's competition. We had to turn away some exceptional teams because of our limited resources this year and we can't wait next year for a bigger, more expansive competition here at this campus, as well as a larger competition throughout the entire country.

Shot of a sign that displays the CyberForce Competition social media information.

Shot of the 2019 local winners at NREL.

Prajjwal Dangal, Student Participant, appears onscreen.

I would definitely recommend this competition to other students. You should go for it!

Video closes with the CyberForce Competition logo and URL: cyberforcecompetition.com