By Bret Piatt
Oct 17, 2017
This past Saturday, October 14, episode 55 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Shaun Herron and Charles Hackett, president and vice president of the Military Cyber Professionals Association (MCPA) of San Antonio.
In the first half of the show, Shaun and Charles introduce themselves and explain how they became involved in the Military Cyber Professional Association of San Antonio, and what the organization is doing in the city. Shaun explained that he became involved after he was approached by other members of the organization and after he had clocked up 11 years of service for the country all around the world, primarily working on cyber security. Charles explained that he became involved in the national movement while deployed in Germany, and was recruited by Shaun into a leadership role at the San Antonio chapter after he returned to the United States.
Charles and Shaun explained the MCPA’s focus in San Antonio, discussing their work in the city promoting education and engagement between kids of all ages and cyber security as well as the military. The MCPA, they explained, serves as a vehicle connecting San Antonio’s military cyber professionals with the wider community. To that end, Shaun and Charles described the military cyber “Dojo” program they built to train kids and expose them to a “cyber 911 kit.”
In the second half of the show, Charles and Shaun went into more detail about the cyber Dojo program. They explained that the program is awarded, like in Karate, they win “belts” as they advance, with belts awarded for completing courses in disciplines like C++ and Java. Due to its success, the program has recently gone through a name change and upgrade and is now called Ghostwire. Ghostwire, they explained, incorporates most of the elements of the original Dojo system, but is more developed, divided into 10 week long courses. At the completion of each week, the kids are awarded the new “belt” they’ve earned.
Shaun and Charles then talked us through the belts and what they represent, the white belt level is centered around education, teaching kids how malware works and talking them through basic security protocols such as not to click on pop ups. Though they start at an accessible and basic level, by the yellow belt level, they explained this had built up to wire trapping and traffic sniffing.
As well as teaching the kids to become better users of technology and more adept at cybersecurity, Shaun and Charles focus on teaching them to be better stewards of technology, to “be the white hats, not the black hats”
As a new member of our San Antonio cybersecurity ecosystem, Shaun and Charles also highlighted how excited they are about recruiting new members to help in the important mission of educating future cyber citizens. To find out more, please check out their website.
To learn more about cybersecurity, listen to the full episode replay available here!
Episode 56, October 21: [Cyber Security in Elections]
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