Cybersecurity lives in Suffolk

Published 10:16 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

North Suffolk is home to the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Command, and the command welcomed I.C. Norcom High School’s cybersecurity class for a presentation on Friday morning.

Their presentation included a few videos to show the students what NCDOC does and what the culture of the command is like. They also had tables of the different subsections at the compound where students could ask questions.

“This is the next generation of people, and we need them to keep going,” said Lt. Cdr. Kevin O’Brien. “Whether they go military or stay civilians, we are educating them about opportunities and exposing them to their options now.”

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While the students rounded the tables to learn about cybersecurity and its intricacies, the students also had a chance to learn about how to be safe with their own technology.

“It’s very important to educate them about how dangerous the internet is and educate them about how to use it properly,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class Luis Maya.

“This is the most relevant to them right now,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Samantha Kothbauer.

NCDOC is a unique feature not only in Suffolk but in the entire Navy.

“It’s important that they know what we do in the Navy. We protect the Navy’s network, and we are the only ones that do it,” said Public Affairs Officer Rebecca Siders. “This helps them know how to defend their own networks and be a cyber defender.”

Students had the opportunity to learn all the facets of Navy cybersecurity, but they were also introduced to those who maintain and update the cybersecurity policies.

The commanding officer of NCDOC, Capt. Julia Slattery, also spoke with the students before they explored the tables, and she spoke of the importance of technology education.

“You guys have the edge on innovation,” Slattery said. “I need minds like yours to help. I applaud you for caring.

“This team is growing rapidly and constantly developing, and we need their ideas.”

Having students see the people doing the work and showing them how it works is helpful, I.C. Norcom Principal Dr. Laguna Foster said.

“We are so grateful for this facility and the opportunity to allow the students to do something like this,” Foster said.