Delaware Announces Innovative Cybersecurity Partnership for Young Women

Girls Go CyberStart offers online cybersecurity training, prizes for Delaware young women in grades 9-12

WILMINGTON, Del. — Governor John Carney and Delaware’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) James Collins announced on Monday an innovative cybersecurity training partnership between the SANS Institute and the State of Delaware that provides young women in high school interested in a cybersecurity career the opportunity to discover their aptitude and learn basic cybersecurity skills through a no-cost online game of discovery called Girls Go CyberStart.

“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,” said Governor Carney. “Delaware needs a pipeline of talent and a strong workforce to remain competitive in the innovation economy. We are excited to continue our partnership with the SANS Institute.”

Last summer, Delaware was one of seven states to partner with the SANS Institute to pilot CyberStart, a program designed to inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals while identifying talented youth. The program enabled 3,300 students in seven states to discover and demonstrate their aptitude for cybersecurity. However, only five percent of the students who participated in CyberStart’s first round were young women. In Delaware, 359 students enrolled in the practice round.

Delaware partnered with the SANS Institute on this initiative to give more talented young women in Delaware high schools an opportunity to explore a career in cybersecurity. The Delaware Department of Technology and Information is partnering with the Department of Education and a variety of organizations, including the Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, to support and encourage as many young women as possible in high school today to register to participate in this exceptional opportunity.

“We applaud the SANS Institute for recognizing the importance and value of a diversified workforce and for working to provide creative opportunities for young women to learn more about careers in cybersecurity,” said CIO James Collins. “Girls Go CyberStart is a fun way for young women to test their skills to find out if they a talent or interest in becoming a cybersecurity professional at no cost. This is a fantastic opportunity and we encourage all our high school-age, young women to take advantage of it!”

Chief Executive Officer of Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay Anne T. Hogan noted, “Girls are natural-born scientists, which is why we introduce Girl Scouts of every age to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to help them see how they can improve the world. At Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, we have been on the forefront of STEM programming for young woman, and are very excited to bring Girls Go CyberStart Challenge to our high school-age Girl Scouts. This program will allow girls to learn by doing, develop important problem solving and leadership skills, and take the lead on their futures.”

Registration will begin on January 29, 2018 and end on February 16, 2018. The first 10,000 young women in high school who have registered by the deadline can play the game online from February 20 through February 25. More details about the program can be found at GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Participating students do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or programming experience. All that is required is a computer and an internet connection. Young women in high school in Delaware who excel in the Girls Go CyberStart game will have the opportunity to win computers and other prizes as well as a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in CyberSecurity Conference.

Each player starts as a “cyber protection agent” responsible for protecting an important operational base. The student chooses and solves challenges, earning points along the way. A cyber protection agent field manual provides answers to questions that may arise, and hints are available to help when players get stuck. When the player has solved a sufficient number of challenges at one level, a new level opens up and new challenges appear – for a total of 10 levels.

Young women in Delaware high schools will participate alongside students from Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming and American Samoa.

When asked why SANS is partnering with Delaware in Girls Go CyberStart program, SANS Director of Research Alan Paller said, “Because the nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have evidence that CyberStart improves the quality and preparation of people entering the cybersecurity field. Further, the two best cyber intrusion analysts I have ever met were named Vicki and Judy, but women are woefully underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity. By opening CyberStart to thousands of high school girls we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

 

###

 

For more information about cybersecurity and Girls Go CyberStart, visit digiknow.dti.delaware.gov or GirlsGoCyberStart.com.

Related news:
Delaware Honored for Cyber Security Innovation
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


Delaware Receives UPenn Technical Assistance Grant to Develop Integrated Data System

Grant will help Delaware support high-risk youth and families in Wilmington, and bolster work of Family Services Cabinet Council

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney announced on Wednesday that Delaware has received an 18-month training and technical assistance grant from the University of Pennsylvania’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) Integrated Data System Learning Community to help develop an integrated data system across state agencies.

The system will help Delaware coordinate services and support young people and families in Wilmington who are at high risk of violence, and bolster the ongoing work of the Family Services Cabinet Council. Delaware was among six county and state governments to receive the technical assistance grant.

“We re-established the Family Services Cabinet Council to make sure that state agencies are working together more effectively, coordinating services on behalf of Delaware families we serve, and delivering results,” said Governor Carney. “The Council is helping confront some of our most challenging issues – including ways to break the school-to-prison pipeline, expand job training, and reduce crime in our neighborhoods. An integrated data system will help us more effectively target our resources, and reach the kids and families who need our help the most.”

“We are excited to be awarded this technical assistance grant from UPenn’s Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy,” said Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, and a board-certified family physician. “This is the technical expertise we need to help make an integrated data system a reality in Delaware, and to help us support the young people in Wilmington who are at high risk for street violence and their families. Being able to see the full picture of the services that young people and their families are receiving and their interactions with the system will help us develop interventions that are coordinated and appropriate for each family.”

Delaware’s Department of Health and Social Services will join other state agencies in working with the AISP Learning Community to plan for the implementation of an integrated data system that will establish linkages across multiple stand-alone government data systems. The technical assistance, which will begin in March 2018, will include in-person training, an online learning platform, and a full evaluation of the AISP program at the end of the 18 months. The training will cover governance of integrated data system, legal agreements, data integration and linking procedures, and identifying and carrying out research priorities.

The Data Working Group of the Family Services Cabinet Council, chaired by Secretary Walker, is comprised the eight FSCC agencies including the Department of Technology and Information (DTI). The working group is engaged in the early stages of the development of an integrated data system, drafting necessary data sharing agreements, and creating a vision for the system. The data working group is carrying forward the recommendation of the CDC report on gun violence in Wilmington. The working group also is partnering with CompassRed, a Wilmington-based data and analytics company, to identify the data needed for analysis to provide actionable, data-driven information back to DHSS that can be used to provide the right services to the right families.

“The goal is to increase collaboration between state social service agencies by developing the capacity to link and share data between agencies,” said James Collins, Chief Information Officer for the State of Delaware. “This will enable predictive analytics to better reveal which families and individuals are most at risk and deliver relevant information to social service agencies so they can respond more quickly with appropriate resources.”

The other county and state governments awarded Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy technical assistance grants are Baltimore and Miami-Dade counties and the states of Georgia, North Carolina and Vermont.

###

Related
Governor Carney Hosts Discussion on Wilmington with the Family Services Cabinet Council
Governor Carney Announces Family Services Cabinet Council Summer Initiative
Governor Carney Reestablishes the Family Services Cabinet Council


Governor Carney Opts-In to Federal Plan to Improve Broadband Network for First Responders

Delaware’s approval allows FirstNet to move forward with plan to build communications network for emergency personnel

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney signed a letter on Friday opting into a federal First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) plan to build a wireless broadband network intended to improve communications for first responders across the State of Delaware.

The FirstNet plan would allow Delaware police agencies, fire and EMS responders to communicate more effectively by prioritizing their cellular phone calls and data requests on the network. Governor Carney’s decision to opt-in allows FirstNet to move forward in building out a broadband network that, if implemented, would allow for efficient communications among emergency responders.

“Our first responders need access to state-of-the-art technology to communicate and respond effectively during emergency situations,” said Governor Carney. “This is only a first step, but this plan has real potential to prioritize communications among law enforcement agencies, fire and EMS personnel, and help our first responders protect the lives of Delawareans across our state.”

“During a critical incident or disaster, cellular communications are of paramount importance to our first responders,” said Robert Coupe, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security. “We are excited by the opportunity presented by this FirstNet plan, which would ensure that first responders have the priority access they need to deliver emergency services to the citizens of Delaware.”

“In addition to the potential benefits opting in to FirstNet can provide to our public safety personnel, this decision also helps us to advance our priority of expanding broadband options in rural, underserved areas of our state,” said James Collins, Chief Information Officer at the Delaware Department of Technology and Information.

FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Authorized by Congress in 2012, its mission is to develop, build and operate the first nationwide, high-speed, broadband network that equips first responders to save lives and protect U.S. communities. FirstNet will build, operate and maintain a secure wireless broadband communications network at no cost to the state.

 

###


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.

###

Related

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


ADVISORY: Discussion on Wilmington with the Family Services Cabinet Council

Governor Carney and Council members will hold meeting to discuss state service delivery in Wilmington

WILMINGTON, Del. – At 6:00 p.m. on Monday, November 13, Governor Carney will host a public discussion on Wilmington with the Family Services Cabinet Council.

Governor Carney signed Executive Order #5 in February, re-establishing the Family Services Cabinet Council to help coordinate critical services for families across Delaware – including workforce and job-related services, early childhood education programs, social service delivery, and programs to improve public safety. Next Monday’s meeting will include presentations by members of the Council. Stakeholders and members of the public will have the opportunity to provide feedback to the Council and offer ideas for improving state service delivery in Wilmington.

Governor Carney chairs the Family Services Cabinet Council, which includes eight members of his Cabinet.

Discussion on Wilmington with the Family Services Cabinet Council

This event is open to the press.

WHAT:          Governor John Carney will host a public discussion with the Family Services Cabinet Council at Delaware Technical Community College in Wilmington. The agenda will include presentations on data-sharing efforts among state agencies in Wilmington, state service coordination for low-income families, and a planned dual generation center to improve the delivery of job-related services, and services for Wilmington children.

The event is an opportunity for stakeholders and members of the public to provide feedback and ideas for improving the delivery of state services in Wilmington.

WHO:  Governor John Carney
Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary, Department of Health and Social Services
Patrice Gilliam-Johnson, Secretary, Department of Labor
James Collins, Chief Information Officer, Department of Technology and Information
Josette Manning, Secretary, Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families
Dorrell Green, Director, Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education
Other members of the Family Services Cabinet Council
Community members

WHEN:         Monday, November 13, 2017
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:      Delaware Technical Community College, George Campus
300 N. Orange Street
Wilmington, DE 19801

 

Click here for the event flyer.
View and share the event on Facebook.

###