Information Security Professionals (ISP) is a org on campus that strives to prepare students for a career in information security. An educational-based org, ISP covers the broad field of cyber security, from making sure a business is locked to keeping information safe. The org is comprised of students from computer science, information technology, engineering and social humanities but anyone is welcome to join. Alex Anton, the president of ISP, encourages anyone that are interested in cyber security to join.
“ISP provides students the opportunity to be hands on. We get to do things that you just can’t learn in a classroom setting or teach yourself,” said Anton, “All the info isn’t easily available because the industry is so new, it continues to evolve and grow.”
ISP meetings are comprised of two parts; lectures and war games. The org provides lectures unique to the org to teach their members about the technology they will use in their field. The second part, and Anton’s personal favorite, is the war games. ISP sets up hacking challenges for their members to try to beat. The games are made to encourage members to understand how to defend a system by learning how it can be attacked first.
Anton said, “With the war games, we provide a safe environment for students to apply skills without endangering themselves or others. We create our own website that is meant to be attacked. It is purposefully designed to be vulnerable so students can explore why and how the coding is wrong. This method helps students to code better.”
Anton wants to stress the ethics involved with information security and how his org works hard to make sure members know this. He points out that there is a clear line involved between right and wrong when hacking.
“We want our members to have the ability to take their skills and try them out. However, we want them to do so in a safe environment. There are a lot of gray areas involved in information security and a lot of stuff is illegal, so we hope to steer them away from that. Our goal is for members to practices these skills, but stay ethical while doing so. It is about learning how to protect something, not harm.”
In April, ISP will be holding a Capture the Flag event. The upcoming event will be a competition between teams of two to hack a system designed by ISP in collaboration with Stout’s Association for Information Technology Professionals (AITP). The teams will work to see how deep into the system they can go while trying to earn points along the way.
ISP meets weekly on Tuesdays from 6-8 p.m. in Jarvis 245.