Cobalt Crusaders: Taking A Stand

The CyberPatriot team at the AFCEA conference.
Photo by Madame Amy King.

In the face of recent viruses on several computer networks, the CyberPatriot team has decided to take a stand and fight the ongoing problem.

“CyberPatriot is a high school competition desgined to help students become familiar with managing and securing complex networks of computer systems,” Mrs. Amy King said.

Amy King became the coach and sponsor of the Cobalt Crusaders almost three years ago to try and fix a problem that was becoming more common.

“I become involved with CyberPatriot when I realized how complicated our computer network at MacArthur is, and how vulnerable we are as professionals, just for getting our daily work done,” King said.  “I started asking my husband questions about these kinds of problems and he explained how our entire world is at risk if our computer networks are constantly vulnerable to outsiders. In short, I became involved because I was afraid.”

Coaching the team has changed the way King looks at computer networks and has made her more aware.

“I think about where I was three years ago in my computer networking knowledge and I laugh,” King said. ” I knew how to turn on the computer and push the print icon and that was about it.”

Though, coaches of a CyberPatriot team don’t have to be an expert with computers, they just have to have a passion for what they are doing.

“Each team must have a coach, and a coach doesn’t have to be someone with a lot of computer experience,” King said. “Now, I’ve learned so much but it isn’t up to me to teach the students. CyberPatriot’s vast network of cyber security professionals helps any willing coach with a team.”

Last year, the Cobalt Crusaders brought in a strong finish.

“Last year, our Cobalt Crusaders qualified to compete at the national level competition in Washington, D. C.,” King said. ” They placed 7th in the nation in the competition.”

During a competition, the CyberPatriot team is given computers and they are required to find the flaws within the networks, which determines how they are placed.

“There was one practice round at the beginning of October, then the first qualifying round was in November,” King said. ” The second round was December 1.  Those [who qualified] for the 3rd round will move on to the semi final round. This year, Mac did not advance, so we will compete in the Consolation round on February 1.  That will determine how we are ranked internationally with all of the other CyberPatriot teams in the world.”

If students are interested in joining, there are two different branches of CyberPatriot to look into.

“CyberPatriot has two divisions,” King said. “One for non-ROTC students and one for ROTC only students.”

Regardless of what happens in the competitions to come, the Cobalt Crusaders know they are helping a good cause, and doing what is in the best interest for others.

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About Sierra Scafido

My name is Sierra and I'm a junior. This is my second year in newspaper and I love writing for Brahma News!

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