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Some San Diego Students Are Spending Part Of Summer Learning About Cyber Security

City of San Diego’s Chief Information Security Officer Darren Bennett speaks ...

Credit: Matt Hoffman, KPBS News

Above: City of San Diego’s Chief Information Security Officer Darren Bennett speaks with students inside a classroom at University of San Diego about cyber security, June 25, 2018.

This week 40 students are participating in the GenCyber Academy of Excellence hosted by the University of San Diego. The week-long camp is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation and the National Security Agency.

It is meant to teach students the basics of cybersecurity.

"It’s continually evolving because of all the technology that’s being developed," said Jaden Symons who is a student at La Jolla High School and enrolled in the summer camp at USD. "And it’s just something that you have to constantly be learning about and learning about to protect information."

Symons said she wants to study computer science in college with an emphasis in cybersecurity.

"I was always interested in computers from a young age," she said. "But I started taking foundations of IT (information technology) and computer science principles and I realized that actually I have an interest in programming and from that it really stemmed to cybersecurity."

RELATED: University Of San Diego Unveils Center For Cyber Security

With a mixture of lectures, guest speakers and hands-on projects, students will learn how to create and protect computer programs. They will also study cyber forensics, which involves identifying and blocking online threats.

"Cybersecurity and computers are growing," said the city of San Diego's Chief Information Security Officer Darren Bennett. "And they anticipate a deficit of good, employable people in the future so these kids are in the right place."

Monday Bennett took questions from students eager to break into the cyber field.

"Organizations like the NSA — the fact that they’re working so hard to sponsor these kinds of programs, that tells you something," Bennett said. "They see the value and importance of getting people that are trained up and know cybersecurity."

In addition to training at USD, students will get a behind-the-scenes look at an FBI cybersecurity investigations lab in San Diego.

Some San Diego Students Are Spending Part Of Summer Learning About Cyber Security

Reported by Kris Arciaga

At the University of San Diego, some highs school students are not taking a traditional summer camp, they are learning how to create and protect computer programs.


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Matt Hoffman
Health Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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