SolarWinds Hack Highlights National Shortage of Cyber Talent

ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 18, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The hack of major U.S. government and Fortune 500 company IT systems disclosed this week by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) demonstrates the increasing sophistication of advanced persistent threats in cyberspace that pose, in CISA's words, "a grave risk to the federal government."

A recent workforce study of the cyber community estimated the United States faces a shortfall in cyber-skilled professionals greater than 3 million in 2020. The Air Force Association's CyperPatriot Program is designed to combat that problem and train future cyber leaders.

Media Availability: Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Bernard K. Skoch, National Commissioner of CyberPatriot, can discuss how CyberPatriot is training America's youth to identify and defend against cyberattacks. General Skoch started his career at Strategic Air Command performing telecommunications in South Korea, later he served on the Joint Staff and Air Staff and completed his career in the Air Force as the director of communications operations on the Air Staff.

About CyberPatriot: The Air Force Association's CyberPatriot Program is the largest cybersecurity program in the nation dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among K-12 students. Created in 2009, CyberPatriot offers cybersecurity training and skills for students from elementary school through high school, with more than 25,000 students participating annually and reaching 250,000 students since the program's inception.

CyberPatriot runs the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition, which puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. Through a series of online competition rounds, teams are given a set of virtual operating systems and are tasked with finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

About AFA: The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote dominant U.S. Air and Space Forces as the foundation of a strong National Defense; to honor and support our Airmen, Space Force Professionals, and their Families; and to remember and respect our enduring Heritage.

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SOURCE Air Force Association