CyberPatriot X National Finalists Announced

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| Source: Air Force Association

ARLINGTON, Va., March 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Air Force Association (AFA) announced today the 28 National Finalist teams that will compete at the CyberPatriot X National Finals Competition in Baltimore, Md., April 16-18, 2018. Teams will travel all expenses paid to compete for the title of National Champion, for scholarships, and for other national recognition.

The 12 Open Division, 13 All Service Division, and three Middle School Division National Finalist teams advanced through extremely competitive online qualifying rounds to earn the distinction of being the handful of teams nationwide in the national finalist field of teams. They represent schools and other youth organizations from California, Colorado, Maryland, Illinois, Hawaii, Texas, and Massachusetts.

A full list of the National Finalists can be found here.

“This CyberPatriot National Finals Competition marks a special milestone of AFA's flagship STEM program,” said Bernie Skoch, CyberPatriot’s National Commissioner. “AFA is thrilled to welcome 28 very special teams of very special young cyber defenders to the culminating event of this tenth season of CyberPatriot. Each of them has earned the honor of being a national finalist by distinguishing themselves as the very best of the best in the most competitive rounds of competition in our history. We congratulate them and express our deepest gratitude to our volunteer coaches and mentors, to our AFA volunteers, and to our generous sponsors who have made this season and all previous seasons possible. We are making a big difference together as we shape America's workforce of tomorrow.”

The CyberPatriot X competition season began in October 2017 with 5,584 registered teams, a 26 percent increase from the previous year.  After multiple rounds of rigorous online challenges, the Open Division and All Service Division teams were divided into three tiers: Platinum, Gold and Silver. The teams then competed within their tiers for state awards and advancement to the Semifinal Round, but only teams in the top Platinum tier were eligible to advance to the National Finals Competition.

"Thank you to all the teams who participated in CyberPatriot this year and congratulations to the National Finalists. These teams inspire CyberPatriot participants to drive toward greater achievement year-over-year,” said Diane Miller, director, Global Cyber Education and Workforce Development Programs, Northrop Grumman. “It’s clear the future of our nation’s security and global economy will depend on a strong, diverse cybersecurity workforce of tomorrow. We’re very excited CyberPatriot participants pursue STEM and cyber education and career opportunities at a higher rate than the national average. CyberPatriot is also leading the way in building the pipeline of diverse cyber talent, with 40 percent of participants coming from culturally diverse backgrounds and 23 percent females. We look forward to welcoming the National Finalists and their coaches to CyberPatriot X National Finals Competition in April!”

At this year’s National Finals Competition, teams will compete to defend virtual networks and mobile devices from the red team -- a professional aggressor team comprised of representatives of several of the organizations who sponsor CyberPatriot. The National Finalists will face-off in three additional competition components: the Cisco Networking Challenge, the Facebook Challenge, and the AT&T Mobile Device competition component, all of which return from previous seasons. These extra challenges help broaden the students’ cybersecurity experience and expose teams to new elements of the many career opportunities available to them.

CyberPatriot, the nation's largest and fastest growing youth cyber education program, is AFA's flagship STEM program dedicated to strengthening cyber skills among students. The program features the National Youth Cyber Defense Competition for high school and middle school students, AFA CyberCamps, an Elementary School Cyber Education Initiative, the CyberPatriot Literature Series, and CyberGenerations, a program promoting senior citizen cyber awareness.

Supporters of CyberPatriot include the Northrop Grumman Foundation, CyberPatriot's Presenting Sponsor, as well as Cyber Diamond sponsors AT&T, Boeing, Cisco, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and Microsoft; Cyber Gold sponsors Facebook, Riverside Research, Splunk, and Symantec; and Cyber Silver sponsors Air Force STEM, Air Force Reserve, American Military University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Leidos, Mastercard, and University of Maryland University College.

To learn more about CyberPatriot, please visit AFA’s CyberPatriot website www.uscyberpatriot.org.

The Air Force Association is a non-profit, independent, professional military and aerospace education association. Our mission is to promote a dominant United States Air Force and a strong national defense, and to honor Airmen and our Air Force Heritage.

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McKinnon Pearse
Air Force Association
7032475847
mpearse@afa.org