By Thania Requeno
In the High Tech and Science Center at the Germantown campus, you are headed to the Math Accounting Physics Engineering Learning (MAPEL) Center, it’s impossible to miss the giant screen illuminating in a small office space at the end of the hallway. What is displayed is Norse, a website that is dedicated to show real-time visibility into global cyber attacks.
When you turn the corner from the office space, what was just a regular computer lab during the spring semester has now been renovated into Germantown’s new cyber security lab, which has its official opening October 26.
As you walk into the revamped computer lab, the first thing you see is the projector running Norse, or like websites that run real time cyber tabs.
The laboratory operates from a separate network than the college does so the networks do not interfere with each other.
This also allows the lab to support over 100 virtual servers. The servers are located and visible in the same office space on the second floor and also on the third floor.
The lab is open to cyber security program students, our cyber security club, and faculty but it is not open for instructional classes. The lab, however, is not your typical instructional classroom.
There are collaborative tables that allow students to work in teams. These collaborative worktables also turn around and you can connect them together like Lego pieces to build an even bigger team of students.
“Although cyber security competitions are difficult to set up and to run, the motivation behind the constructing of the new lab was to host cyber security competitions,” says Joe Roundy, MC Cybersecurity Program Manager.
MC-Germantown in January hosted a Montgomery County Public Schools cyber security competition. Students participate in competitions like capture-the-flag, where one team is protecting a system and the other team’s goal is to hack into it. Students also compete in forensic competitions where they investigate digital data to determine where evidence may reside.
MC will continue to host and will be supporting the preliminary rounds of competitions that are open to MCPS students. Poolesville High School students have already made it to state-wide competition.
On October 9, Joe Roundy, along with 35 students, Dr. David Hall, department chair of Physical Sciences, Engineering, Computer Science, Cybersecurity and Networking at the Germantown campus and Professor C.K Chiang, attended a tour of the Security Operations Center at Lockheed Martin, a global security and aerospace company. Bethesda-based Lockheed is engaged in research, development, and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products, and services. Lockheed Martin will also participate in the October 26 opening of the new MC Cybersecurity lab.