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Great Lakes Region Cybersecurity Academy

The Academy is a one-week virtual CAP Cadet Special Activity (CSA). If you attend the Academy, you will grow your knowledge of Windows and Linux operating systems, networking, cybersecurity careers, and practical cybersecurity defense techniques.  You will also grow you leadership skills and practice working successfully as a member of a virtual team.

Three learning tracks are available. When you enroll, you must select one of these tracks:

  • Networking. You will complete the Cisco CCNA Introduction to Networks course and will be introduced to network-based security controls.
  • Systems. You will learn how to harden Windows and Linux systems against security threats using industry benchmarks, with an emphasis on creating automated hardening scripts as well as working with the Linux command line. In addition, application-layer and cloud security topics will be covered.
  • Operational Technology and the Internet of Things. OT / IOT will consist of a series of lab activities using Raspberry Pi IV computer kits. You will learn and write basic Python computer code and observe how their programs interact with external systems and devices.

The tracks will also merge for general sessions on cybersecurity careers, the Air Force cyber pipeline and career opportunities, and general cloud security.

Activities

As a replacement for daily team-building activities that would have normally occurred on-campus at Ferris State University, you will work in groups to build several IOT-related projects using Raspberry PI IV computer kits. (These activities are not a substitute for the in-depth OT / IOT track.)

Prerequisites

Knowledge and Skills

You must have completed the CAP Basic Cyber Badge in order to attend the 2021 Academy, or have equivalent knowledge and skills, including:

  • Security awareness and online safety
  • The CIA triad
  • Windows 10 and Windows server hardening: security configurations and best practices
  • Windows 10 command line
  • Linux system hardening: security configurations and best practices
  • Linux commands
  • Basic networking

If you have actively participated on a CyberPatriot team for a year or two, you probably have the necessary knowledge and skills.  However, if you have not completed the Basic badge you must complete a knowledge exam and skills interview given by the cadet staff.

Computer and Network

You must have a Windows 10 or Apple Mac computer with up-to-date software, a camera, microphone, speakers, and reliable network connection that will support video conferencing. For hands-on computer work, you’ll connect to a virtual computer in the cloud each day using RDP from your computer.

If you do not have a reliable network connection, the Academy may be able to temporarily provide one.

Learning Environment Attendance

The Academy is a week-long intensive experience. You must be able to attend from a location where you can focus without interruption for most of each day, and you must keep your camera turned on during the class.

During Academy week, you should plan to spend almost all of your time focused on Academy work sessions and possibly homework; it’s a full-time commitment.

Tuition and Expenses

The tuition for the virtual Academy is $40.

The virtual Academy requires each student to have a Raspberry Pi 4 computer kit with automation accessories, and a home computer monitor or television with an HDMI input. (A Raspberry Pi 3 will not meet the requirements.)

For students in the Systems and Networking tracks, the cost of the Pi and kit will be about $140.  For students in the IOT/OT track, the cost of the Pi, kit, and added components will be $200 or less.  Instructions for ordering will be provided after you have been accepted.

Financial Assistance

The CAP LIFT program provides financial assistance for eligible cadets and will cover the cost of the tuition and Pi 4 computer kit. If you are accepted to the Academy and have been notified that you will receive LIFT assistance, you will still need to purchase the Pi kit, and then submit a form for reimbursement. Reimbursement checks are normally mailed several weeks after the Academy ends. You must also successfully complete the Academy in order to receive reimbursement and have your tuition covered.

For more information, go to the CadetInvest module in eServices at https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.CapScholarship.Web/CAPScholarshipMain.aspx

If you apply, select CADET LIFT in Step 1 of the form.  The LIFT application period closes on 30 April, and you may submit a LIFT application now, prior to Academy enrollment. Receiving LIFT assistance does not mean that you will be accepted into the Academy.

LIFT acceptance and Academy acceptance are two separate processes, and the Academy does not manage the LIFT process.

Schedule

Readiness

The cadet staff will conduct readiness meetings on an as-needed basis to help you prepare your computer system for the academy, and to assist you with questions during your pre-work.

Review and Pre-Work – Systems and OT / IOT Tracks

The Academy staff will conduct three two-hour sessions to review concepts with which you should be familiar on Day 1 of the Academy. These sessions are not mandatory but are highly recommended. The staff will also provide reference material that you can use to refresh your knowledge.

The topics and schedule are as follows:

Topic Date Time
Windows architecture and functions TBD 1300 – 1500 EDT
Linux architecture and functions TBD 1300 – 1500 EDT
Basic Python syntax TBD 1300 – 1500 EDT

                       

The Monday through Friday sessions will include regular breaks, and will be followed by optional, informal evening cadet-only sessions for socializing.

Enrollment Application and Registration

You may submit an application to attend the Academy through eServices at:

https://www.capnhq.gov/CAP.Events.Web/Form31.aspx

Select one of three events:

  • 444 – Networking
  • 445 – Systems
  • 446 – IOT / OT

Space is limited, and qualified candidates will be accepted in the order in which they apply.

Cadet Staff

The Academy has openings for cadet staff to serve as mentors to the students, including answering questions and assisting them with troubleshooting technical issues that arise. Cadet staff also monitor the virtual presence of students and bring questions to the attention of the instructor. Cadet staff must have at-least squadron-level leadership experience and must have received the CAP Intermediate Cyber Badge (or have an equivalent level of knowledge).

Staffing a GLR Cybersecurity Academy, whether virtual or on-campus, is a great experience, and makes a great line item on your resume. For further information about serving in a staff position, send an email to the box listed below.

Academy Email

You may submit questions to the Academy email box at glrcyberacad@cap.gov.  The staff will route your email for a timely response.

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