Our lives are intertwined with information traveling across the Internet and other parts of cyberspace. Our critical infrastructures (such as water, electrical power, public safety), supermarkets, schools, jobs, and how we communicate depend on the safe flow of information. When cyberspace is compromised, airline flights are canceled, bank accounts are drained, telephones stop working, and our national defense is weakened. The list of possible disruptions is almost endless.
For cyberspace users like us, we know that social media, online shopping, news media, and banking websites are all frequent destinations. How can we stay safe, knowing that we share the same Internet with criminals from every corner of the planet?
Michigan Wing Cyber Education
The Michigan Wing Cyber Ed program helps CAP members learn to not only stay safe as users but to take control of cyberspace as information system managers. Cyber Ed provides opportunities for:
- Learning how information technology (IT) systems and networks operate.
- Acquiring skills needed to stay safe online.
- Applying best practices for keeping IT operating systems up-to-date and secure.
- Defending IT systems from attackers, such as worms and viruses.
- Exploring IT and cybersecurity careers in business, education, and government, including the CIA and US Department of Defense.
- Participating in team competitions in order to demonstrate cybersecurity knowledge and skills.
The cybersecurity principles learned during Cyber Ed activities are those used by the US Air Force, Fortune 500 companies, universities, government agencies, and other successful organizations to protect their IT systems. Members are encouraged to apply their cybersecurity abilities each day at home, school, or work with similar results.
Cadets who are interested in further IT study and/or an IT career will find that their Cyber Ed achievements, their CAP leadership experience, and they’re embracing the CAP core values will help position them as valued employees, service members, and leaders.
The wing cyber education staff partner with the GLR Cybersecurity Academy to put together fun and engaging lessons virtually so anyone can attend. These webinars are available live through our Discord Server or on our YouTube Channel where you can watch previously aired ones.
Links to specific lessons can be found on the Webinars page.
The staff strive to put out hands-on lessons so students can work through the theory being taught during lecture. Be sure to check out our wing calendar for up-to-date webinar times and links to resources!
Cyber Education activities are offered through the Michigan Wing, the Great Lakes Region, and as a national program described further below.
Air Force Association CyberPatriot
Sponsored by the Air Force Association, the national CyberPatriot program provides cyber education and the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition. Michigan Wing CAP squadrons form teams who, during each round of the competition, are placed in the position of managing IT for a small company. Teams compete at the state level, with the top teams advancing to the regional and national level. Teams may begin practicing during the summer months; the first competition round typically occurs in late October or early November of each year.
If you are a cadet who is interested in joining a team, talk with your chain-of-command. If you are a senior member who would like to form and coach a team or apply your cyber knowledge and skills as a technical mentor, see the Team Organization page on the CyberPatriot website for more information: https://www.uscyberpatriot.org/competition/Competition-Overview/competition-overview
CAP Great Lakes Region Cybersecurity Academy
The week-long Cybersecurity Academy program immerses members in IT and cybersecurity concepts using a hands-on approach to learning, combined with leadership development activities and some outdoor fun. The curriculum is tailored to the participant’s abilities, so both beginner and expert members are welcome. The Academy instructors are engineers, university professors, and cybersecurity professionals. Graduates of the Academy will have acquired knowledge and skills needed to excel during the CyberPatriot competition and actively practice cybersecurity. Check out the details on the GLR Cybersecurity Academy page.
CAP National Cyber Academy
The CAP National Cyber Academy (CNCA), the summer cyber NCSA, integrates cyber security certification standards into career exploration courses and dovetails with the Cadet Program Cyber Module which is in production. The CNCA hosts two courses, Cyber Ops Fundamentals and Cyberspace Networking.
Cyber Education itself is a new program, and these activities will continue to rapidly evolve with the needs and interests of our members, so please watch for email and website updates.