Cybersecurity issues represent one of the fastest-growing threats to businesses, communities, and the government. Often, smaller communities have limited resources to effectively monitor cybersecurity issues—and that is where the Public Infrastructure Security Cyber Education System (PISCES) can help.
“PISCES has created a first-of-a-kind approach to create a reliable pipeline to address the shortage of cyber professionals ready for the workforce,” said Christian Perry, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) cybersecurity researcher and PISCES task lead.
A recent article in the Domestic Preparedness Journal titled, “Training the Next Generation of Cyber Guardians,” highlights how university-community-nonprofit collaborations are changing cyber education and cybersecurity. PISCES founder and former PNNL staff Steve Stein shares how PISCES has been instrumental in imparting entry-level cyber analysts with operational experience while simultaneously providing a level of monitoring to critical infrastructure networks.
“PISCES has created a winning situation for our students and our communities. Students get supervised experience serving as entry-level cyber analysts. They analyze real streaming metadata from small communities and government agencies that can’t adequately afford the monitoring and cyber protection they need,” said Stein.
PISCES began as a volunteer effort and garnered support and engagement from PNNL and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to accelerate the growth and impact of the program as it exists today. Since its launch in 2017, PISCES has worked with DHS and PNNL to establish, develop, and grow this nonprofit into a nationwide program. With 10 academic institutions and more than 20 communities sharing data, PISCES provides 300 to 400 students per year with critical cybersecurity-based experience. The program looks forward to continuing its expansion to other states and university partners.
“With adequate funding and resources, we are striving to make this capability available across the nation,” Stein said. To learn more about PISCES, including academic and community partners, visit https://pisces-intl.org/.