FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 30, 2018 

Registration now open for Girls Go CyberStart, an innovative cybersecurity program for high school girls

DENVER, Colo.— Registration is now open for the Girls Go CyberStart challenge which encourages young women in high school to explore the world of cybersecurity through a no-cost, online game of fun technical challenges. Colorado was one of only seventeen states selected by the SANS Institute to participate in the program.

With registration now open, Lt. Gov. Donna Lynne issued a challenge to all girls eligible to participate.

“We hope Colorado sees more girls register than any other state,” said Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne. “We know the future holds a promising career for those girls willing to explore the amazing field of cybersecurity. What better way to get a jump on your future than by having a program like Girls Go CyberStart to pique your interest and set you on a path for your professional journey.”

“There is an extreme shortage of cybersecurity professionals right now,” State of Colorado’s Chief Information Officer Suma Nallapati added. “And Girls Go CyberStart is an exciting opportunity for high school girls to work through a series of interactive challenges and potentially discover hidden talents while playing with students around the country.”

Girls Go CyberStart registration began on January 29 and will remain open until February 16, 2018. Colorado girls enrolled in grades 9 to 12 at a public or private school or homeschool equivalent are invited to register, but only the first 10,000 girls to sign up nationwide will play.

“I find that many students don’t understand what cybersecurity entails,” Colorado’s Chief Information Security Officer Deborah Blyth explained. “I tell them it’s like solving a puzzle. You get to be a cyber detective and hunt for clues of intrusion, discover and fix security flaws and vulnerabilities, and help prevent future attacks.”

Students do not need prior cybersecurity experience to participate; all that is required is access to a computer, a good internet connection and the desire to have fun while solving problems and learning new skills. Girls may play alone or in teams of up to four from the same school. Game play runs from February 20 through February 25.

Colorado high school females will participate with students from Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, and American Samoa. The girls or teams who solve the most problems within the designated time will be eligible to win computers and other “techy” prizes, as well as a trip to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference. Additionally, the winning girls’ schools will receive a cash prize.

Register a team and learn more about the challenge on the Girls Go CyberStart website at girlsgocyberstart.com.
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About the Governor’s Office of Information Technology

The Colorado Governor's Office of Information Technology (OIT) is responsible for the operation and delivery of information and communications technology services and innovation across the Executive Branch agencies in the State of Colorado. OIT drives innovative technology solutions, provides quality service, and supports the agencies whose missions are so critical to serving Coloradans. We do this by overseeing technology initiatives at the state level, recommending strategies and maximizing efficiencies of service delivery in a cost-effective manner through the application of enterprise technology solutions. Our enterprise approach also enables the agile delivery of new applications to state agencies that improve citizen access to government services while increasing accountability and transparency.

Find OIT online at colorado.gov/oit, on the #StateofCO IT blog, and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Media Contact: Brandi Simmons, Chief Communications Officer & PIO
303.764.6897
brandi.simmons@state.co.us