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Bossier students learning cyber security

Published: Apr. 4, 2016 at 9:47 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2016 at 10:46 PM CDT
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BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Cyber security is a flourishing industry, and the threat of cyber attacks is growing right along with it. Defense against attacks is key to national security, and students at a Bossier City high school are well on their way to being the next generation to protect us.

Austin Carr, a Parkway High School Senior, and his classmates have an interest in computer programming, and are part of the cyber team. This week, they are meeting after school to prepare for their biggest test yet.

"It's an extremely intense competition," said Carr.

They are practicing to return to an international cyber security competition in Baltimore next week called "Cyber Patriot."

"It's a week-long competition with several events. The main one being network security challenge. There are 10 computers, and 5 of us competing," he explained.

Their goal is to make a vulnerable computer safe. Sounds easy enough to someone who knows what they're doing, but there's a catch.

"We're going to be actively hacked by a group of experienced hackers."

These hackers are going to try to steal information like passwords, and will try to erase all of the work already done by the students. The goal is to keep them out, and secure their network again.

This is a real world job that is being done constantly in Bossier City at the Cyber Innovation Center. G.B. Cazes is the Vice President at the Cyber Innovation Center, and says these kids are the future to national security.

"Just outside our window we have CSRA which is 800 jobs they're filling right here in our local community, and these students are going to be primed, and ready to go after they graduate high school and college to go into that workforce here locally," said Cazes.

That's exactly what Austin plans to do. Next year he will begin his college career at Louisiana Tech in Cyber Engineering, and says this program at Parkway in conjunction with cyber security job opportunities here is appealing enough to make him stay after college.

Cyber Innovation Center says there are 380,000 cyber security jobs that need to be filled right now, and that number is projected to grow to 1 million jobs by 2020.

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