Northrop Grumman Hosts Successful Cyber Defence Workshop for Saudi Students
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) hosted a two-day cyber security awareness and training session called “CyberArabia” last month for students at King Saud University. The purpose of the event, held April 28-29, was to build interest and excitement for this critical, in-demand career field. “Northrop Grumman was thrilled to host CyberArabia at King Saud University,” said Walid Abukhaled, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Saudi Arabia. “The demand for cyber defenders has never been greater and we appreciate the university’s foresight in understanding the importance of grooming future cyber talent to protect the Kingdom.” During the hands-on instruction portion of the workshop, students followed along in a simulated Windows system as instructors demonstrated important cyber security principles such as encryption, account management and security tools like firewalls and anti-malware.
Each afternoon, students broke into teams and went head-to-head in a cyber defence competition that put their newly acquired skills to the test. The competition was fashioned after the U.S. CyberPatriot youth cyber defense programme, presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and created by the Air Force Association – a nonprofit organization advocating for education.
Teams were scored on how fast and thoroughly they identified and remediated cyber vulnerabilities and intrusions – similar to what a cyber defender does to protect information and networks. Members of the top team from each day’s competitions received a CyberArabia Champion trophy. Abir Benabid Najjar, Ph.D.,vice head of the Software Engineering Department, in the College of Computer and Information Sciences at King Saud University said, “Participants were ecstatic to participate in CyberArabia. Numerous students told me their ‘participation in the CyberArabia competition was a great chance to prove their skills’ and that it was ‘fun participating in the competition.’” Added Najjar, “Another student described it this way, ‘the CyberArabia competition opened up a new prescriptive for security to us, as it was our first time working on a cyber security-related area.’”
“Our workshop offered students a chance to learn about cyber defence as well as the amazing career opportunities available in cyber security,” said Diane Miller, director, CyberPatriot Programs, Northrop Grumman. “Our partnership with King Saud University facilitated a critical transfer of knowledge about cyber defense training and awareness that will help students to build the skills needed to thrive in this field.”
The AFA’s CyberPatriot Program’s goal is to inspire youth toward careers in cyber security and other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines critical to our global security. Northrop Grumman partnered with Cyber Security Challenge U.K. this year to introduce CyberPatriot in the U.K., where it’s known as CyberCenturion. In addition to CyberArabia, King Saud University hosted the National Symposium on Command, Control and Cyber Security NSC3 last month. Northrop Grumman Corporation was a diamond sponsor of that event.