Gov. Phil Bryant announced today that Mississippi will be participating in an innovative cybersecurity training partnership with the SANS Institute known as the Girls Go CyberStart challenge, a skills-based competition designed to encourage girls to pursue cyber-based learning and career opportunities. Registration is now open.

The Girls Go CyberStart program is an online game consisting of a series of challenges that put students in the role of a cyber-protection agent charged with solving realistic problems and puzzles. It is designed to explore relevant and exciting topics such as cryptography and digital forensics.

“Programs like Girls Go CyberStart continue to encourage the pursuit of cyber-based learning and career opportunities in technology,” said Governor Phil Bryant. “I have no doubt the participants from Mississippi will do a great job representing our state in this year’s competition.”

“Cybersecurity is a major platform for protecting infrastructure, personal information and financial data. Mississippi is not immune to digital threats and our state needs a talented group of cybersecurity professionals to help protect our citizens and support our economic development through protection of our key resources” said Jenny Williams, Director of the Mississippi Office of Homeland Security. “I am excited that Mississippi is once again able to bring this innovative cyber competition to our high school girls and encourage them to explore this vital field.”

“This is an amazing opportunity for introducing a career pathway for girls in Mississippi to be on the frontlines of a growing profession” said Dr. Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education. “Cybersecurity is a critical platform for protecting personal information and financial data from digital threats both inside and outside the United States, and girls in Mississippi are just as capable and smart as girls in any other state when it comes to having the knowledge and skills to do well in this type of program.”

The program is open to girls in grades 9 through 12. Students can participate at both home and at school, or wherever an internet connection is available. Participating students (and their teachers) do not need knowledge or experience in IT or cybersecurity to participate. The program is free for schools and students.

Governor Phil Bryant Press Release

10/29/2019