By Krista Fowler
BSides Delaware returned to Wilmington University this year for two full days of cyber security networking, workshops, talks and competitions. The annual convention took place Oct. 7 through Oct. 8 in conjunction with National Cyber Security Awareness Month.
The conference, organized by Janice Paulson, Joshua Marpet and Eric Arnoth, offered educational workshops, talks from experienced cyber security professionals, competitions and fun activities for children. WilmU instructors encouraged students and alumni from the CNS and MSIST/IA programs to attend Bsides Delaware, which presented a good opportunity to network, reconnect and learn about careers in cybersecurity.
Marpet said, “We are working to make Wilmington University a respected college in the cyber security industry. There are so many opportunities to network at Bsides Delaware and we want to encourage more students and alumni to come.” He mentioned one of Bsides’ sponsors, JP Morgan Chase, had set up a booth and was actively recruiting for full time positions, internships and co-ops.
Mark Hufe, a WilmU professor and Bsides Delaware organizer explained the benefits of participating in the Capture the Flag competitions, stating, “Students can really only scratch the surface in their classes. The degree gets them an interview with HR. What they learn by competing gives them the answers to the questions they’ll be asked in interviews with hiring managers.”
Wilmington University alumnus J.R. Murray has been attending Bsides Delaware since 2011. As a professional services lead with Sbox, he said that he keeps an eye out for potential candidates for upcoming positions, and stated, “I feel like Bsides is a must attend event for cyber security majors. They can find out what opportunities are out there.”
Michael Yenchik and Christian Dong are also returning WilmU alumni. Yenick said that Bsides is a great place to network in Delaware, and has learned a lot at the conference. “The computer industry changes every five minutes,” Yenchik said. He also mentioned that the talks were his favorite part of the event. Dong agreed that he benefitted from the talks and the BSides workshops. He commented that he enjoyed learning how to build his own lab.
Bsides Delaware also welcomes high school students. Grace Lombardi, a high school junior, attended for her second year and competed in the Capture the Flag competition. She stated that she is deciding which colleges she wants to apply to, and she benefits from learning about the computer industry and the networking opportunities at Bsides.
This year was Wilmington University’s 7th year hosting the annual Bsides Delaware conference. BSides is free and open to anybody interested in cybersecurity. The organizers look forward to what’s in store for year 2017. Please visit BSides Delaware to learn more about the event and how you can volunteer next year.