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Third Annual Cybersecurity Conference

The Florida Center for Cybersecurity at USF held its third annual cybersecurity conference at the Tampa Convention Center.

Hundreds of people from around the country packed the Tampa Convention Center for the Florida Center for Cybersecurity (FC2) at USF’s third annual cybersecurity conference.

Ryan Schmidt, a member of the USF Whitehatters Computer Security Club, competes in a capture the flag cyber challenge.

The daylong event featured live cyber competitions, where some conference goers attempted to “hack” vulnerable cyber systems defended by University and military teams. Others went head to head with members of the USF Whitehatters Computer Security Club, showing off their talents in network analysis, software reverse-engineering and other areas.

Military members defend mock cyber attacks during a live challenge held at the conference. 

Industry experts discussed today’s biggest cybersecurity issues through 12 breakout sessions, including topics such as emerging cybersecurity threats and mitigation strategies, guidelines for developing a successful cybersecurity team, and innovative solutions for expanding the cybersecurity workforce.

“There is a severe shortage in cyber professionals in this world. Last year over 200,000 jobs went unfilled, because there were not any skills or talent available in the market. That’s projected to grow to over 1.5 million in the next five years,” said Sri Sridharan, managing director and chief operating officer of FC2.

“We all need to get on this bandwagon called cybersecurity education, and make sure that we create a cyber workforce that can fill these jobs.”

Sri Sridharan, managing director and chief operating officer of FC2, speaks at the third annual cybersecurity conference.

The conference hosted industry leading keynote presenters Scott Charney, vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group, and Art Coviello Jr., who recently retired as executive chairman of RSA, The Security Division of EMC. The sessions were part of the USF and The SunTrust Foundation Lecture Series.

Story and photos by Ryan Noone, USF Communications & Marketing

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