The Community College Cybersecurity Summit (or 3CS) was held in Pittsburg in July. This conference, while targeted at community colleges offered several sessions that would appeal to university faculty, cybersecurity practitioners, and government. What differentiates this conference from most other cybersecurity conferences is the wealth of hands-on, innovative, and collaborative sessions. This is the place to be if you are an educator looking to introduce cybersecurity concepts into a course, build an entire curriculum around security, or revitalize material. Not an academic? That’s fine, too. By offering the sessions in such a collaborative way professionals may hone skills and learn new approaches and identify how business, academia, and government can support each other and cybersecurity for our country.
Prominent at this conference were several National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects to help insert secure coding and other cybersecurity fundamentals into new and existing courses and information on how to improve our country’s cybersecurity academic offerings through the National Security Agency/Department of Homeland Security (NSA/DHS) Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) programs. These programs showcased some of what was available through generous grants intended to disseminate information and empower educators to improve curriculum. The collaborative environment ensured that any attendee who needed assistance or wished to further the ideas presented would have a venue and contacts to accomplish that goal. The overall feeling was of a shared mission, understanding of the similar issues so many faced, and of empowerment.