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CISA Announces Sponsorship of First-Ever US Cyber Games Team

Cyber talent development

CISA Announces Sponsorship of First-Ever US Cyber Games Team

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has announced its founding sponsorship of the first-ever U.S. Cyber Games team that will compete in the inaugural International Cybersecurity Challenge to be held in Greece in June.

Founded by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the U.S. Cyber Games is a talent recruitment and development program inspired by the esports competitive video gaming format.

The formation of the U.S. Cyber Games team began in May 2021 with a capture-the-flag challenge that tested participants’ skills in cryptography, networking, web applications and reconnaissance, CISA said.

CISA trimmed down the number of participants through various other challenges. The top twenty athletes were invited to join the first U.S. Cyber Games.

Jen Easterly, director of CISA and a 2022 Wash100 winner, said that the program’s gaming-inspired format is designed to motivate the future cyber workforce and maintain a thriving cybersecurity community.

She added that games can serve as a “safe and legal venue to practice offensive and defensive techniques in a real-world environment.”

NIST’s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education program formed the U.S. Cyber Games in partnership with Katzcy, a northern Virginia-based digital marketing firm.

Katzcy CEO and founder Jessica Gulick previously described esports as a “safe venue” where participants can “try and fail and try again to learn” in applying defense cyber tactics, The Washington Post reported in October 2021.

CISA said that its sponsorship complements its other efforts to develop the U.S. cybersecurity workforce, including Project REACH, the CYBER .org initiative and the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program.

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Category: Federal Civilian

Tags: CISA cybersecurity federal civilian International Cybersecurity Challenge Jen Easterly Jessica Gulick NIST U.S. Cyber Games Wash100