Wise, VA– BSides, an online network that helps organize cybersecurity events around the world, is collaborating with The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Southwest Virginia Community College and Mountain Empire Community College to host BSides SWVA.
 
The event will raise awareness for the cybersecurity industry’s potential in Southwest Virginia and highlight ways to develop the region’s workforce in this field. In addition to industry leaders from companies like Microsoft serving as guest speakers, the event will also feature a “Capture the Flag” (CTF) competition. CTFs are team-based cybersecurity challenges where participants attempt to breach the opposing team’s computer network while protecting their own network from attack. These competitions, typically found in high schools and colleges, have become more prevalent around the country over the past few years as the demand for a developed cybersecurity workforce has increased.
 
BSides SWVA will take place on Thursday, Nov. 29 at UVa-Wise’ C. Bascom Slemp Student Center (fifth floor) from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. The event will be of special interest to high school and college students considering cybersecurity as a career and teaching professionals looking to incorporate CTFs into their STEM-based curricula. Attendees can arrive and depart at their leisure while only participating in sessions of their choice.
 
Shannon Blevins, a key organizer of the event and the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Office of Economic Development and Engagement at UVa-Wise, is confident that such competitions will help ensure that the region’s workforce will remain competitive as cybersecurity and information technology-based industries continue to expand in the coming years. “Designing and hosting the region’s first Capture the Flag-type competition is an exciting opportunity for the higher education institutions across the region to continue our partnership and to grow the technology talent pool in Southwest Virginia.”
While admission is free, attendees are still required to register online at bsides.eventbrite.com. A detailed event agenda can also be found at this website.
Speakers will include:
 
Dr. David Raymond – Using CTFs for Cybersecurity Education and Training
 
David Branscome – Doesn’t It make You WannaCry: Mitigating Ransomware on a Windows Network
 
Frank Callahan – Apple Privacy and Security
 
Workshop:
 
Ahmed Ibrahim – SSL/TLS Session Hijacking