FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) - (10/11/17) - Ethical hacking. The phrase is becoming increasingly more popular with each new cyber threat and data breach our nation faces.
Baker College in Flint has just invested tens of thousands of dollars into a new cyber lab - putting the best tools in the hands of students who will face and defeat these threats.
ABC12's Elisse Ramey stopped by Wednesday for their open house.
About $140,000 has gone into renovating the new cybersecurity labs at Baker College-Flint. They've got new flooring, lighting, TVs, comfortable gamer chairs, but what makes this place really unique is the offense and defense labs.
"This room that we're in right here is offense. The next room is defense so the hackers against the defenders," cyber defense program director Doug Witten said.
Witten trains ethical hackers like sophomore Devin Beaver to solve complicated problems competitively.
"A problem could be a day of work and then if it's a bigger problem it could take a week or month or even a year," Beaver said.
That means hours of time clocked in these labs for the college's three cyber defense teams. Beaver at one point spent four consecutive days in the lab.
"It's all comforting and having the offense/defense side we can finally do everything and split it out into groups," Beaver said.
"From the technical perspective we have everything we could possibly have to run very, very large cyber defense competitions," Witten said.
The college will host their own competition coming up October 28 featuring six colleges. When they started renovations back in June, that was one of the goals. It gives them something else to be proud of along with national and state titles.
"We're the only college to ever win one that's a college not a university so the only way we can compete against these deep pocketed campuses is to out work them and this is one of the ways we can do that," Witten said.
The back to back state cyber defense winners will head back to competition in February. They've already been training since the summer for about three to four times a week.