An Afternoon With CyberPatriot

Mason Buettner, Reporter

If someone is alive and functional in this modern era, they almost certainly use a computer at least once in the course of their day. Using of a computer, many things are taken into account, but for many security is not one of them. Usage of inadequate security tools give some a false sense of security, while others simply don’t know how to defend themselves.

But in the ROTC room on Mondays and Wednesdays, a group of students are being taught to fight back. Headed by Major Timothy Emerson, Sergeant First Class Medlock and Wachter, and facilitated by Commander Rick Hamblet, the CyberPatriot program not only teaches the team to compete, but to defend against attacks in the real world.

While Major Emerson is an industry professional boasting a CyberSecurity career going back to 2001, he has only joined the CyberPatriot program this competition year, replacing the former head coach. Under Major, the CyberPatriot team came first in the state in the last competition, putting them in position to compete for the opportunity to go to nationals at the end of January. A point of pride for the team has been their triumph over their rivals Flour Bluff, who have beat them out at both of their last 2 competitions.

Chief Noah Dalton and Ensign Justin Borgmann sat down at their last practice to share some insight into what they think of the program:

WORD: How would you describe CyberPatriot?

Justin: One of the most informative experiences of my schooling career.

Noah: Fun, interesting, and a good learning experience.

WORD: What have you enjoyed most about competing with the team so far?

Noah: The bagels, working with the National Guard and our sponsor Corvalent

WORD: Could you tell us about your sponsor?

Justin: Sure, Corvalent is a computer hardware manufacturer based in Cedar Park. They’ve hosted all of our competitions this year and provided some technical guidance from their IT department head. They’ve been instrumental in getting us to where we are today.

WORD: What have you learned so far that has been useful on your own devices?

Noah: How to secure my network, and really just computer security as a whole.

WORD: Do you feel that CyberPatriot has made you more cautious?

Noah: No, no. It probably should, but no.

Justin: Yeah, absolutely. It’s scary what’s out there!

WORD: Would you recommend the CyberPatriot Program?

Noah: Yeah, 100 percent

Justin: Most definitely. It’s probably the most fun you can have with a computer at school.

The future of the CyberPatriot team looks bright, and even if they don’t finish out this year with a win at Nationals, The team of juniors knows that there’s still next year.

Share Button