Colorado Springs, CO – October 31st, 2023 The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) hosted a Project PISCES training and onboarding event in partnership with Metropolitan State University of Denver at the NCC headquarters on October 27th, 2023 for 45 new analysts. These student analysts attend either University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) or Pikes Peak State College (PPSC). As a trained analyst, these students monitor network metadata from local government networks via an intrusion detection system (IDS) as a hands-on experience they need outside of normal course material to stand out in the job market.
“The NCC brought in UCCS and PPSC as academic partners this semester and their students really received the sprint-style training event well,” said Jonah Wisch, NCC Program Director. “Every one of these students will get real-world hands-on operational experience with live customer data. You just can’t get that in a classroom.”
The NCC and MSU Denver have been in partnership working together on Project PISCES for the last 2 years, building off of the work that PISCES International, a non-profit based in Washington, has done since 2016. Project PISCES in Colorado currently serves 12 community partners with an IDS network monitoring service for free, providing a public benefit to over 500,000 residents of Colorado across cities, counties, school districts, and special districts. The student analysts that monitor these networks are all trained by the team from the MSU Denver Cybersecurity Center and perform their work remotely from across the state.
MSU Denver was awarded a 2-year / $500,000 grant by the Colorado Attorney General’s office in 2023 to support the growth of this effort within the state. The partnership of NCC and MSU Denver will work to expand the number of communities monitored and students trained over the 2-year period.
“Hands-on training is absolutely essential for cybersecurity students to complement their undergraduate experience, said Richard MacNamee, Director of the Cybersecurity Center at MSU Denver. “Industry is looking for talent with legitimate experience, and once they attend a training session, a PISCES student can build skills and work as analyst in our student lead SOC for 1-2 years while they finish their bachelor’s degree.”
About the National Cybersecurity Center
The National Cybersecurity Center (NCC) is a non-profit organization established for cyber innovation and awareness. Established in 2016 from the vision of then Governor and now United States Senator from Colorado, John Hickenlooper, in coordination with several people from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) and the community, the NCC serves both public and private organizations and individuals through leadership, collaboration, and education.
Jonah Wisch, Program Director