Howard County Cybersecurity Academy students mentored by experts


Last week 20 students from Howard County Public School System’s Cybersecurity Networking Academy got a special treat when Firoozeh Azarbaidjani-Do, co-founder and CEO of Phoenix TS, the internationally acclaimed and award-winning computer training solution provider, welcomed them to a cybersecurity mentoring program. The three-hour cybersecurity training session was led by Claude Williams, expert cyber specialist at Phoenix TS.

“During their three hour session with our team,” said Azarbaidjani-Do, “the students learned about Cryptography Basics, Encryption Basics and Protocols, and they were presented with scenarios and real-world situations that required the application of learned security concepts and techniques. The training was reinforced with an encryption challenge that tested students on specific encryption techniques learned during the session.”

The students from Howard County’s Cybersecurity Networking Academy are taught by Vipul Savalia. The Academy is designed for students who have an interest in expanding their knowledge and skills related to computer hardware, software, operating systems, fundamental and advanced networking, and cybersecurity related threats and mitigation techniques. Students gain practical hands-on experience in these fields and demonstrate their ability to analyze cyber threats by using networking devices, simulation tools, software and competitions. These courses prepare students to obtain a wide variety of industry recognized IT certifications.

On hand for the training session Savalia said, “Cybersecurity is an incredibly important feature of our modern age. A day doesn’t go by without more evidence that in order to be productive and to improve our lives, we have to protect our computers, which are the lifeblood of nearly every facet of our existence.”

He continued, “These students are our future and they are demonstrating their eagerness and commitment by participating in a variety of educational opportunities, such as this mentoring program. We are creating the next generation of cyber professionals and this mentoring plays a role in achieving this goal.”

Also attending were Howard County Public School System Deputy Superintendent Linda T. Wise and Howard County Board of Education member Sandra French. After the session, Deputy Superintendent Wise and Azarbaidjani-Do awarded the students Certificates of Recognition for their accomplishment.

“The Howard County Public School System has a deep and long term commitment to providing our students with a world-class education, said Deputy Superintendent Wise. “We’re incredibly proud of our Career Academy programs, of which the Cybersecurity Networking Academy is just one. Students in the academies have the ability to earn industry certifications that give them the opportunity to obtain employment while they continue their education.”

“For example, students in the Cybersecurity Networking Academy can leave high school as a Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT). Thanks to partners like Phoenix TS, they also have the opportunity to network with professionals in the field. We are very grateful to our neighbor, Phoenix TS, for the commitment they are showing to our students, and to their futures.”

Founded in 1998, Phoenix TS provides quality customized and off-the-shelf, instructor-led technical and end-user training services around the world. The company’s management has utilized its more than 30 years of combined experience in training and consulting to provide organizations like DISA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Air Force with the most effective training possible.

The company’s instructors have also successfully trained more than 80,000 professionals from nearly every government agency and commercial organization, along with government agencies in foreign countries such as Korea and Germany.

Jayne Matthews Hopson writes each week about educational matters because, “Only the educated are free.”