Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation

Governor Carney, Chief Security Officer Elayne Starkey recognized by SANS Institute with 2017 Difference Makers Award

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Security Officer (CSO) Elayne Starkey on Friday received the 2017 SANS Difference Makers Award by the SANS Institute.

The Difference Maker Awards recognize individuals “whose innovation, skill, and hard work have resulted in real successes in information security.”

“I am honored that Delaware has been acknowledged as a leader across the nation in cyber security awareness, education, and training,” said Governor Carney. “We need to continue to encourage students to explore careers in cyber security to ensure that we have a pipeline of talented professionals available in this high-demand field. We appreciate the SANS Institute for partnering with us to help make that a reality.”

In July, the State of Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute to provide Delaware high school juniors and seniors, and college students from Delaware or attending a college in Delaware, the opportunity to learn basic cyber security skills. Students test their aptitude through a no-cost online game of discovery called CyberStart. After a qualifying practice round, students were able to compete for scholarships.

CSO Elayne Starkey and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information led Delaware’s enrollment efforts.
“This is such a special award and I am deeply grateful that Delaware’s leadership, especially Governor Carney and Chief Information Officer James Collins, have made cyber security and developing our workforce a top priority,” said CSO Elayne Starkey. “It truly is a collaborative effort that would not be possible without our partners, sister state agencies, and staff. Many thanks to the SANS Institute for recognizing Delaware’s cyber security efforts.”

Highlights of Delaware’s participation in the CyberStart program:

  • 359 Delaware students enrolled in the practice round within two weeks.
  • 47 percent of the students qualified for the CyberStart Game.
  • Delaware students competed with approximately 3,300 other students from Virginia, Michigan, Rhode Island, Iowa, Nevada, and Hawaii.
  • Four Delaware high school and college students were in the top 50 nationally.
  • 20 Delaware students won CyberStart scholarships for more advanced education in cyber security.

Over the last year, Governor Carney took additional action to expand cyber security career exploration for Delaware students by signing into law House Bill 15, legislation that requires public and charter high schools to offer at least one computer science course.

During National Cyber Security Awareness Month in October, Governor Carney announced the launch of Delaware “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge, which designed a free statewide program to ignite interest in cyber security among the state’s youth. The program enables students to test drive occupations with the fully-funded online cyber security career exploration platform. The Governor made the announcement at the 2017 Secure Delaware Workshop, an event that highlights the importance of cyber security training for government, businesses, and citizens to strengthen our readiness and response posture.



Governor Carney Launches “NSA Day of Cyber” School Challenge at Secure Delaware 2017

Governor Carney Signs Legislation Extending Cybersecurity Protections for Delawareans

Governor Carney, Chief Information Officer Announce Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Students