Five-Day Gathering Introduces Students to Cybersecurity Issues in Transportation, Offers Career Opportunities in Industry
The National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA) announced today that it will once again serve as the lead sponsor for CyberTruck Challenge – a five-day gathering in which college students from the United States and Canada learn about cybersecurity challenges in LTL trucking, and about related career opportunities in the industry.
The 2023 CyberTruck Challenge will take place from June 12-16 at the Macomb Community College Sports and Expo Center in Warren, MI. It is the sixth time the event has been held since its inception in 2017 (with 2020 skipped because of the COVID pandemic).
“Cybersecurity in LTL trucking is such a central part of NMFTA’s mission,” said NMFTA’s Executive Director Debbie Sparks. “In the six years we have supported CyberTruck Challenge, we have clearly seen the positive impact it’s had on the industry and its ability to stand up to threats in the digital space. We are very pleased to continue that support.”
A total of 47 students from 21 universities attended CyberTruck Challenge in 2022.
Students throughout North America are invited to attend the event, which includes hands-on instruction on various aspects of heavy-vehicle cybersecurity, as well as opportunities to start up a truck and get the feel of it. While technical skills are a plus, CyberTruck Challenge is mainly looking for enthusiasm from students for the event and its mission.
CyberTruck Challenge has two primary objectives. The first is to develop the necessary talent that can come into the industry and deal with the cybersecurity challenges that are facing transportation and LTL trucking. The second is to develop a community of interest that can work together to solve these problems on an ongoing basis.
“For the newer student, success is when they get genuinely excited about doing this type of work, and from there they go back to school, stay focused and ask to come back,” said Colorado State University’s Associate Professor Jeremy Daily and the lead organizer of the event. “They realize how much more they want to learn, and they go seek that out. They come back the following year with marked improvement in their skill set, and the industry notices.”
Daily said students with background in cybersecurity or trucking might come away with even more advanced ambitions.
“In this tier, someone who is job searching or has experience in a graduate program realizes the skills they’ve been acquiring over the last few years actually have relevance,” Daily said. “And they pursue a career in cybersecurity for transportation. The ultimate success is when our industry sponsors hire the CyberTruck alumni. And we’re very excited to say that has happened.”
As lead sponsor, NMFTA ensures that student lodging, meals, and airfare are covered. NMFTA also works to bring together leading companies in the industry to participate and become acquainted with the participating students.
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