The College of Business Administration will play an instrumental role in enhancing cybersecurity competitions throughout the country thanks to a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The funding will enable computer information systems Professor Dan Manson to create the National Cybersecurity Sports Federation, an umbrella organization that will offer guidance in branding cybersecurity competitions. Loosely modeled after the NCAA, the federation also will help event organizers recruit and train competitors as well as offer rules and metrics.
Cal Poly Pomona is uniquely positioned to succeed in this new role, Manson says.
“At Cal Poly Pomona, we’re really good at partnering and building bridges,” he says. “We have the unique ability to inspire young kids to embrace cutting-edge curriculum and connect them with professionals who are in continual need of a tech-savvy workforce, now and in the future.”
Cal Poly Pomona created the Western Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition, hosted U.S. Cyber Camp’s inaugural West Coast boot camp, and is one of the few universities in the nation to establish a cybersecurity partnership with a major public school system. By hosting and participating in these various events, Manson and Cal Poly Pomona have the unique ability to get education, government and industry leaders to work together.
“Given that there is currently a significant shortage of cybersecurity professionals across the nation, and a critical need for them, this grant and Dr. Manson’s continued efforts to promote youth awareness and interest in pursuing cybersecurity as a career will serve California well,” says Michele Robinson, California’s chief information security officer. “Cyberspace and the critical infrastructure that supports it is our shared asset and thus a shared responsibility. On behalf of the Department of Technology, California Information Security Office, we congratulate Dr. Manson, and look forward to opening day!”
Over the next two years, the federation will host summits featuring key leaders in cybersecurity education and create a website for cybersecurity lessons and career paths.
Since 2005, the College of Business Administration has been a leader in promoting cybersecurity education and careers for college students. Manson, however, believes that the practice and application need to begin before students enter college. Ideally, students should begin playing cybersecurity games while they are in elementary school.
“Branding cybersecurity as a sport that is as fun and thrilling as football, baseball, even gaming, will greatly benefit this nation,” Manson says.
(Photo: Professor Dan Manson)