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Students collaborate in hands-on cybersecurity activities.

Jul. 26, 2018


Nevada high school students learn about cybersecurity from top experts and local industry leaders.

As black hat hacking plagues the digital world, the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering hopes to contribute to a solution by teaching students about cybersecurity and how to be good digital citizens.

This summer, Computer Science Professors Dr. Ju-Yeon Jo and Dr. Yoohwan Kim directed the first ever UNLV GenCyber summer camp where students were able to learn the basics of cybersecurity and different opportunities in the field. The event was offered at no cost and jointly sponsored by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation.

The goal of the camp is to increase awareness about cyber security careers and diversify its workforce through education and hands-on application. According to Cyber Defense Magazine, the need for cybersecurity professionals is at an all-time high with a projected 1.8 million job vacancies by 2022. Through programs like GenCyber, UNLV is hoping to bridge the workplace gap.

Over 140 local students applied for the program, but only 44 were accepted, representing 29 different schools across the valley. Students participated in various hands-on activities about cybersecurity covering computer basics, networking, encryption techniques, online behavior, cybercrimes, and protection. Students also visited the Mob Museum and heard from cybersecurity experts working to improve Las Vegas’ information systems.

The camp concluded on Friday with a cyber-drama event in which students were able to explain different cybersecurity topics via skits to family, faculty, and staff. Channel 8 News was on site the day before to interview students and Dr. Jo at the camp.

“Cybersecurity is everywhere. Fortune 500 companies invested 90 billion last year alone to protect our systems and infrastructure,” Jo told Channel 8.

With a strong introduction to cybersecurity, we hope to launch these students into successful careers combating cyber-attacks.

To view Channel 8 news coverage of the event, click here.

This story was written by undergraduate English student Jocelyn Silva.