On Friday September 2nd 2022, the BYU Cybersecurity Student Association had a smashing success at their club kickoff event. While 82 students officially signed in, club officials estimate around 100 students attended the event.
Students at the kickoff came from all majors and years: everywhere from between exercise science to math majors, and from freshmen to graduate students. The CSA presidency and members worked hard to spread information about the event across campus so all students interested in cybersecurity could come, learn more about CSA, and get involved.
At the beginning of the event, students enjoyed pizza and mingled to get to know other students. The presidency then gave a presentation introducing future planned meetings and events, what CSA is, and how students could become more involved.
CSA leadership introduced the associations four core emphases: Penetration Testing, Network Security, Digital Forensics, and Threat Intelligence. The purpose of each emphasis is to attack computers to find exploitable vulnerabilities, secure networks from malicious actors, uncover and interpret electronic evidence, and gain knowledge/awareness of potential threats and assess threat vectors, respectively. Emphasis meetings occur weekly on Tuesday evenings.
Students also learned about the many different competitions in which cybersecurity students participate. These include the Collegiate Penetration Testing competition, the Collegiate Cyber Defense competition, Capture the Flag competitions, and others. The CSA has weekly training meetings on Friday afternoons for Capture the Flag competitions (more commonly known as CTFs) to teach students the different skills and techniques for participating in CTFs. All students are invited to come learn more about and train to compete in CTFs.
Following the presentation, the students participated in a Kahoot that quizzed them on their memory of what the CSA is, what the events are, and important things to remember about the association. The winner of the Kahoot received a Razor keyboard as a prize for their attention to detail and memory.
Overall, students say they had a positive experience and CSA leadership considers the event a success. In addition, the first CSA emphasis meeting of the school year occurred on Sept 6th and recorded 45 attendees. As these two events indicate, the BYU Cybersecurity Student Association is here to stay and make an impact.