IT security professionals learn, grow at ‘Cyber Dawg’ event

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A real-time cyber training event is happening at the Georgia Cyber Center.

Cyber-attacks can happen at any time. That’s why security professionals from all state agencies say it’s critical to know how to defend using real-world internet protocols and services.

“Instead of running on a field, you’re typing on a keyboard. You’re straining your own mental capacity to learn and grow,” said Jonathan Race.

He is a cyber range engineer for the Georgia Cyber Center, where agencies from across the state are participating in ‘Cyber Dawg.’

“It gives them that exact same environment except it’s consequence-free, the only consequence is they learn a lesson, so when they go out into the real world, they won’t make that mistake again,” he said.

David Allen is the Georgia chief information security officer. He said, “You have the ability to learn, and learning means making mistakes.”

Allen says it’s better to learn those lessons here instead of in the real world.

“We don’t have a chance to experiment. We don’t really have a chance to make mistakes because even the tiniest mistakes are things that are getting taken advantage of by the adversaries out there,” he said.

That’s why he believes it’s great for cyber experts to come here and practice working together, managing threats on the fake internet.

“It’s OK for trial and error. It’s okay if you fail because it’s all part of learning and growing,” said Allen.

Georgia cyber professionals are learning and growing at this five-day event. Ten different state agencies are participating.