Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Chief Information Security Officer Deborah Blyth have joined with the SANS Institute to educate and inspire the next generation of female cybersecurity professionals. Through the GirlsGoCyberStart program, Colorado’s high school girls in grades 9 through 12, or a homeschool equivalent, are invited to discover their talents in cybersecurity and learn about the field through a no-cost, online game of fun technical challenges.
Participating students do not need to have information technology or cybersecurity knowledge or experience; all that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Girls may play alone or in teams of two to four.
Colorado girls will be participating alongside students from across the country. The girls or teams who solve the most problems within the designated time will have the opportunity to win computers and other “techy” prizes as well as a trip, along with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference. Additionally, the winning girls’ schools will receive a cash prize.
Registration will begin on Jan. 29 and end Feb. 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by then will play the game online from Feb. 20 through Feb. 25.
Answers to other questions, a description of the game, and a sample challenge may be found on the GirlsGoCyberStart website at girlsgocyberstart.com.