Delaware Launches Free CyberStart America Challenge

National online cybersecurity talent search and competition open to all Delaware high school students


Dover
 – Governor John Carney today announced Delaware’s participation in CyberStart America – an innovative, online cybersecurity talent search and competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation and SANS Institute. Delaware’s high school students are encouraged to explore their aptitude for cybersecurity and computer science by participating in the program and will have the opportunity to win scholarships, as well as prizes and recognition for their schools.

The CyberStart America program is a series of 100% online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents, solving cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as code breaking, programming, networking, and digital forensics. The program can be assigned as part of homework, can form the basis of an extracurricular club, or students can just try it on their own. Participating students and their teachers do not need knowledge or experience in information technology or cybersecurity to take part. Everything they need can be learned in the game. The program is free for schools and students, and all Delaware students in grades 9-12 are invited to participate. Building on the success of last year’s Girls Go CyberStart program, this year’s CyberStart Game is open to all high school students. Anyone who reaches level 5 in Game will qualify for the national competition to win scholarships. To further encourage participation of young women and JROTC cadets, communities are offering additional support and community-specific awards within the overall scholarship competition.

“This is a great program that builds on our statewide efforts to provide students with real-world experience and technology skills that will be valuable in any career,” said Governor John Carney. “These competitions offer fun activities for young people to explore and learn about the high-tech, high-impact field of cybersecurity.”

“CyberStart is a great way empower and inspire young people to pursue STEM fields including cybersecurity,” said Acting Chief Information Officer Jason Clarke. “In a pilot of the program last year we had over 180 students participate and 16 succeeded in reaching the national finals. This year we hope to triple the number of students participating and reaching the scholarship round.”

“The CyberStart challenge is both a fun and educational experience that gives students the chance to engage in lively hands-on learning and the opportunity to earn valuable college scholarships. We hope even more students will participate in the challenge this year,” Secretary of Education Susan Bunting said.

The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation anticipates awarding scholarships worth a total of $2 million for use at any accredited college to 600 high-scoring students across the nation who participate in the competition in 2021, with students able to compete for state-specific and community-specific prizes as well as national championship status. There will also be incentives for Delaware high schools to encourage more students to reach the qualifying level in CyberStart Game, including exclusive access to additional cybersecurity education resources and recognized cyber skills mastery badges for their students.

Complete details may be found at www.cyberstartamerica.org. High school students may register for the program beginning October 30 and may begin playing the CyberStart Game at 12:00 AM EST, November 15. They may continue playing, and invite their friends to join them, through February 28, 2021. Students will be informed that they qualify for the CyberStart National Scholarship Challenge Round (the “Nationals”) as soon as they have achieved sufficient progress, but they are allowed to continue playing and learning in order to build more skills that will be useful to them in the Nationals. To see the types of challenges students will face in the games, visit https://go.cyberstart.com.

Participating students and schools are encouraged to share updates on social media with #cyberstartDE.

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

www.dti.delaware.gov

www.digiknow.dti.delaware.gov


About SANS Institute

The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. SANS provides cyber security training and certification to professionals at governments and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach over 50 different courses at more than 200 live cyber security training events as well as online. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to help the entire information security community.

https://www.sans.org

 


Join DTI For Cyber Security Awareness Month Events

Dover, DE – Governor John Carney has declared October Cyber Security Awareness Month (CSAM) in Delaware and the Department of Technology and Information (DTI) has a number of activities planned. For the first time, the kick-off event is a brand new Cyber Safety and Security presentation, launching Thursday October 1, 2020 at 12:00pm EST.  This virtual event can be found at https://digiknow.dti.delaware.gov/pages/cybersecurityevents.shtml.

The 2020 Cyber Security Awareness Month Virtual Event provides information, tips and cyber safety reminders. This compilation of videos and materials, designed to serve the cyber safety information needs for anyone ranging from teens to businesses and organizations, is divided into concise and easily viewed segments.

Four categories featured in the presentation are:  Citizens, Businesses, Government, and Industry Partners.  Information is presented in a series of short videos and printable materials.  The virtual event is designed to address any person that is touched by technology – and that is EVERYONE! Learn about security related to mobile devices, phishing attacks and protecting personal private data or take a look at each industry that you use and the security protocols they use to keep your data secure.

There is no cost or registration needed to take part in this event.  It is formatted to permit viewing in segments or in its entirety.  Numerous links to well-trusted sources make the event both educational and entertaining.

This event is a collaboration between DTI and the Delaware Cyber Security Advisory Council (DCSAC).

For more information on other Cyber Security Awareness Month activities, go to: Digiknow.delaware.gov.


CSA Program Contact:
Claudette Martin-Wus, DTI
(302) 739-9636, Martin-Wus.Claudette@state.de.us

Media Contact:
Christina Dirksen, Strategic Communications Manager, DTI
(302) 739-9736 w Christina.Dirksen@delaware.gov


DELAWARE OFFERS STATEWIDE SPEED SURVEY AND SPEED TEST

Information gathered will be used to address broadband challenges 

DOVER, Del. — In an effort to improve broadband services across the entire state, the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is partnering with CTC Technology and Energy to conduct a statewide speed survey. Over the next 45 days residents can visit SpeedSurvey.Delaware.gov to test the speed of their computers, tablets and smart phones or to report a lack of service. Persons without access to internet service can also report that information by calling (302) 739-9701.

“Having reliable and affordable access to the internet is as essential now more than ever ‒ for education, work, healthcare, and the list goes on,” said Acting CIO Jason Clarke. “As we move forward to eliminate broadband deserts throughout the state, we need to be working with the most accurate data possible. The more people who participate in this speed test or report lack of internet availability, the more real-time information we have to make educated, strategic decisions that best serve Delaware.”

This information will be used to develop a statewide strategic plan to address rural and urban broadband challenges. For more information about the State of Delaware’s broadband efforts, please visit broadband.delaware.gov.

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Justin Day to Head Up New Partner Services Team at DTI

DOVER, Del. — The Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is pleased to announce that Justin Day has been promoted to serve as Chief of Partner Services. In his new role, Justin will lead the new Office of Partner Services — which will be comprised of Partner Engagement, End-User Services, and Statewide IT Support Center teams. As part of DTI’s ongoing transformative digital government approach, he will work to better align partner roles and IT solutions with business strategy, enhance support options, and implement a new enterprise managed & brokered service offering to maximize value for all stakeholders. Justin will also be responsible for developing and implementing strategies to enhance customer experience and service delivery across Executive agencies and the Legislative branch.

“As Delaware continues the journey to deliver a citizen-centric digital government experience, the new role of Chief of Partner Services is an integral part of our IT evolution. Justin has been a dedicated and valuable DTI team member and leader — who proves every day that he understands the value of collaboration, as well as the critical link between delivering quality IT services to the success of agencies in supporting our citizens,” said DTI CIO James Collins. “I am delighted that he has accepted the challenge to take on this brand-new role as we move forward with IT Centralization. Justin’s excellent record and experience with innovation, team transformation and customer service make him a great fit for this position.”

Over the last 20 years, Justin has served in key leadership roles at DTI in the areas of IT Service Management, End-User Services, and Data Center Operations. Most recently, Justin served as the Director of Data Center & Operations where he led successful efforts to centralize mission-critical infrastructure, modernize network operations, and transform how end-user services are delivered to agency partners. While leading the Data Center Team, Justin proposed and implemented strategies that consolidated the number of State Data Centers to improve efficiencies, lower costs, and reduce the environmental footprint by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions. As a leader in Information Technology Service Management, he greatly expanded services, implemented the State’s first 24/7 Support Center and led DTI’s effort to deliver end-user services to agency partners statewide. His knowledge of DTI services, appreciation for the partners we serve, and proven ability to build teams that deliver positive outcomes will be valuable in continuing to advance the GEAR IT Centralization Initiative.

Justin is an alumnus of Wilmington University, Leadership Delaware Fellow, and holds multiple professional accreditations including ITIL Foundations, CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network +. He currently serves as Executive Vice President of Delaware Valley 7×24 Exchange and regularly speaks with national audiences on the topics of data center infrastructure, operational excellence, & edge-computing. Justin also enjoys volunteering as a mentor for ITWorks. A native Delawarean, Justin currently resides in Newark with his wife, Steph.

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About the Delaware Department of Technology and Information

The Department of Technology and Information (DTI) is the state’s central IT organization, chartered to deliver core services to other state organizations and exercise governance over the technology direction and investments of the state. DTI provides enterprise services that enable other organizations to effectively fulfill their missions.

www.dti.delaware.gov


Delaware Introducing High School Girls to Careers in Cyber Security

Partnership aims to empower young women to pursue STEM careers

DOVER, Del. — Governor John Carney and Chief Information Officer (CIO) James Collins on Wednesday announced that Delaware will again partner with the SANS Institute on an initiative to introduce Delaware high school girls to careers in cybersecurity through Girls Go CyberStart – an interactive, online challenge.

Last year, more than 180 girls from 22 Delaware high schools participated in the program. Ten Delaware girls earned $500 college scholarships.

“We know that women are underrepresented in STEM fields and we must empower our young women through creative initiatives like Girls Go CyberStart,” said Governor Carney. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the SANS Institute, which helps us encourage young women in Delaware to pursue a career in cybersecurity, or another STEM field. That’s importance for the strengthen of our workforce, and Delaware’s economy over the long term.”

“It is important that we are intentional about creating opportunities that empower and inspire young people to pursue STEM fields. We are grateful that the SANS Institute recognizes the importance and value of a diversified workforce and partners with us to achieve that goal,” said CIO Collins. “Girls Go CyberStart is a win for everyone because it is a fun way for young women to try their hand at cybersecurity, there is no cost to participate, and we get a chance to help grow our own talent right here.”

“The Girls Go CyberStart competition really impacted my view of cybersecurity and has caused me to consider a job in the field,” said Olivia Lundstrom, a member student at Padua Academy and previous Girls Go CyberStart participant. “I loved how fun and challenging it was to play, and it taught me a lot about cybersecurity that I would have never known had I not played!”

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for young women to explore a high-demand career area.  Since no past experience is needed, there are no barriers to keep even more of our high school students from participating,” said Secretary of Education Susan Bunting.

Delaware’s high school students will be participating alongside students from across the nation. Practice sessions will begin November 13. Registration will open on December 2, and official Girls Go CyberStart play will begin on January 13, 2020.

“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,” said Alan Paller, SANS Director of Research. “Women are significantly underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity. By opening CyberStart to thousands of girls in high school, and to all college students, we hope to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field.”

Male and female college students can participate this year in a companion program, Cyber FastTrack, which opens for registration on February 3. Play will begin on March 4. Cyber FastTrack allows students who excel in the competition to win scholarships for a Summer of Cyber – and to become eligible to win $2.5 million in scholarships for advanced cybersecurity training.

Learn more about the importance of cybersecurity, the Girls Go CyberStart program, and Cyber Fast Track.

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