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Two Richland College Students Win $500 Scholarships from Cyber FastTrack Program

After completing several challenges during a period of five months, Richland College cyber security students Clayton Barbier and Reuben Seward each won $500 scholarships and made it to the semi-finals of Cyber FastTrack, advancing further than thousands of other students from universities and colleges around the country.

Cyber FastTrack is a free online cyber security challenge used to identify highly talented college students with a desire to enter the cyber workforce and provide them with the practical skills employers require.

Barbier and Seward participated in the CyberStart Assess challenge from April 5-May 10, the CyberStart Game from May 20-June 28 and the CyberStart Essentials from July 10-September 16. They completed challenges in forensics, intrusion detection, security operations, system and network penetration testing and application penetration testing.

Of the 13,289 students who started the program, only 2,579 made it to the quarter-finals and were invited to the CyberStart Game. They had five weeks to demonstrate their skills in more than 252 cyber security challenges, ranging from cryptography puzzles to advanced reverse engineering problems. From there, only 541 made it to the semi-finals. Those students gained access to CyberStart Essentials, an innovative online course that helps students achieve proficiency in the most valuable foundations of cyber security through hands-on exercise, quizzes, interactive labs and exams.

Richland College was designated as a Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence by the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center in 2014. The goal of the program is to bring the latest technology and a vendor-neutral education, where instruction breaks away from traditional information technology training methods. Because independent thinking and problem solving are encouraged, students complete hands-on lab work and participate in collegiate competitions such as CCDC, National Cyber League and the Black T-Shirt Challenge. Graduates will be prepared to enter the workforce with technician-level skills and will be ready to complete industry certifications. Learn more by visiting www.richlandcollege.edu/cybersecurity.

For more information about Cyber FastTrack, visit www.cyber-fasttrack.org.