DOE Announces 2020 CyberForce Competition

DOE Announces 2020 CyberForce Competition
Mark Wesley Menezes Deputy Secretary

The Department of Energy has launched the sixth year of an annual competition that aims to challenge students to compete in a realistic cybersecurity defense exercise.

“The U.S. energy sector is under constant threat of cyberattacks,” said Mark Wesley Menezes, deputy secretary of Energy.  “The CyberForce Competition is unique in that it trains the next generation of cyber professionals on defending the energy infrastructure while also maintaining usability of the systems.”    

The CyberForce Competition 2020 virtual event will task individual representatives from various academic institutions to defend a simulated wind energy company's cyber systems against cyberattacks, DOE said Tuesday. The simulated company will generate 20 thousand megawatts of electricity and experience network disruptions during the competition.

DOE will select around 400 competitors from accredited U.S. institutions via a random lottery. Industry practitioners will guide the participants and gauge their performance via virtual interactions.

"The CyberForce Competition is unique in that it trains the next generation of cyber professionals on defending the energy infrastructure while also maintaining usability of the systems," said Alexander Gates, senior adviser at DOE's office of cybersecurity, energy security, and emergency response.

The competition is a part of DOE's efforts to comply with an executive order that requires the U.S. cybersecurity workforce to expand by 62 percent to address the current skills gap.

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