High school girls will soon have a chance to play as "cyber protection agents" in an online game designed to attract more women into the cybersecurity field.
Delaware is one of seven states to partner with the SANS Institute, a for-profit cybersecurity training company, on the pilot of CyberStart. The online game is designed to teach cybersecurity skills to young people through sets of interactive challenges. The first round of the program engaged 358 students in Delaware and 3,300 across all seven states - but just five percent were women.
The latest version, Girls Go CyberStart, is designed to draw more young women to the game and ultimately the fast-growing cybersecurity field.
"The importance of cybersecurity cannot be understated and I encourage young women in Delaware high schools to take advantage of this opportunity to explore career options in this vital field," Gov. John Carney said. "Delaware needs a pipeline of talent and a strong workforce to remain competitive in the innovation economy."
Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay CEO Anne T. Hogan said the organization will encourage its members to play the game. "This program will allow girls to learn by doing, develop important problem solving and leadership skills, and take the lead on their futures," she said.
The players must complete 10 levels of challenges based around protecting an "operational base" under threat of cyber attack. The game will provide an agent field manual to help overcome the basic technical challenges of cybersecurity.
Registration will open January 29 and run until February 16. The first 10,000 applicants can play the game from February 20-25. More information is available at GirlsGoCyberStart.com.