The Cyberspace Club is a cybersecurity-focused group where students can listen to speakers from the field, participate in national competitions and more.
“We focus on things like encryption data protection and bringing in members from the industry to explain what cybersecurity truly is,” club president and junior Douglas Maxwell said. “We do a lot of research and focus on why it is an important and growing field.”
The club meets about once a month on a varying schedule, and they meet more frequently toward the end of the semester so they can “prepare for [the] cyberspace event”, according to Maxwell.
At the Cyberspace Event, members present and discuss research projects they completed during the semester.
“We’ll talk about things like data breaches that have happened and how they can be avoided, or specific algorithm functions that are useful to cybersecurity,” stated Maxwell. “We also showcase some of the code or framework that we’ve developed.”
The next Cyberspace Event will commence in November 2022, though there is no exact date at this time.
The Cyberspace Club also focuses heavily on preparing members for the Cyberforce competition through the federal government’s Department of Energy.
“The contest takes place in Indiana, so we will be participating virtually,” Maxwell said. “Big companies like Microsoft act as the judges…Students are presented with cybersecurity problems and are asked to showcase—either through framework or penetration testing skills—how to solve those problems.”
The organization itself is relatively new. It started in 2019, around the time that the cybersecurity major was added to Slippery Rock University’s roster.
“The cyberspace club is essentially an academic club that can serve as a tool for students to make connections in the cybersecurity world and participate in related activities that they may enjoy,” Maxwell said.