Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC), has announced that it will serve as the “Presenting Sponsor” of AFA’s Cyber Patriot III, a high school cyber defense competition that is designed to nurture interest in the cyber professions.
The sponsorship was announced yesterday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“Northrop Grumman is proud to contribute its time and resources to ensure the success of CyberPatriot III,” said Diane Miller, Northrop Grumman program director, CyberPatriot. “As a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions, it is our responsibility to help build the pipeline of qualified candidates who will eventually take on the job of securing our nation’s cyber future. It’s a priority.”
For the 2010-2011 school year, Northrop Grumman will invest resources, as well as staff time, into mentoring students and providing coaching assistance for teams that are looking to enter the competition.
“We are so pleased to partner with Northrop Grumman for this premier high school cybersecurity competition,” Joseph Sutter, Chairman of the Board, AFA, said. “The company’s participation in this program proves their dedication and support to educating the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.”
Current estimates by some experts, such as Alan Paller of the SANS Institute, say that the United States currently has around 1,000 skilled cyber professionals, while it needs 20,000 to 30,000. Programs such as Cyber Patriot are designed to find up-and-coming cyber professionals and help to mentor and develop their skills, often providing scholarships and other benefits.
“Northrop Grumman has an extensive network and reach-back into the communities where the company’s offices are located,” Sutter added. “We are thrilled to have its support in such roles as coaching and mentoring the teams to help bring real-world experiences to the high school population.”
Previous Cyber Patriot competitions have included Air Force junior ROTC students as well as students in Japan. This years competition is open to all-service JROTC students as well as students attending non-military high schools.
“Each year, our youth is increasingly exposed to new and innovative technology, as well as new and emerging cyber threats,” said Miller. “Northrop Grumman recognizes the need to reach this generation now and through CyberPatriot, to educate students about these threats and teach them how to protect themselves and others.”
Registration for the conference and additional information can be found here