This semester, NJIT brings its own Information and Cybersecurity Club to campus, connecting students interested in the subjects with hands-on experience, competitions, training, resources, and more to prepare them for a successful career in the industry. The club participates in cybersecurity capture-the-flag events almost every week; it recently hosted its own capture-the-flag for members as well.
“Next semester, we plan on introducing a lot more interactive elements, mini-CTFs and more,” John (Jack) Zabriskie, fourth-year information technology major and club public relations manager, said. “We are trying to get our voices heard to get people more interested in cybersecurity as the world around us is changing rapidly; we want people to know how to protect their data!”
The organization is meant to be as hands-on as possible. New members do not have to know skills like coding in binary in order to be involved with the club. “Everything we do is from a beginner level up, and everyone can participate or help others learn how to do something they find second nature,” Zabriskie added.
“In the past, I have struggled to find members to participate in CTF competitions, which allow individuals to test their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity,” Daniel Daszkiewicz, first-year information technology administration and security graduate student, said. “However, the club actively participates in CTFs and even formed teams within the club. This is my favorite part of the club because it makes participation much more enjoyable.”
Daszkiewicz appreciates how motivated everyone in the club is; he is able to learn many skills just from others in the group. “I enjoyed the interactive event we had where we learned about cryptography starting from its very origin, the Caesar cipher. Each member had a pair of members that would go against each other to try and decipher a text into its real message, the winner would move on in the tournament,” he mentioned. “The event was Halloween-themed and even rewarded the winner with a prize.”
Ian Hanna, third-year information technology major and vice president of the club, says, “it is important for people to explore cybersecurity in a safe environment, especially in today’s time,” with our lives surrounded by technology. He helped found the club over the summer, hoping to spread more awareness about the significance of cybersecurity.
“One memory from the club I found fun was when we did a meeting on open source intelligence, or publicly available info. We had an activity during which people partnered up and then tried to see what they could find online about their partner,” Hanna said. “It was a really great way to learn about our club members as well as see how much info is out there about us.”
The NJIT Information Cybersecurity Club meets every Wednesday from 2:30-4 p.m. — common hour — in GITC 3600. Keep up with the club in its Discord server at https://discord.gg/7hjjn2WT and its Highlander Hub page at https://njit.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/nicc!