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American Samoa to participate in Girls Go CyberStart challenge

Source: ASG media release

American Samoa is participating in the Girls Go CyberStart program, a free online cybersecurity game offered by the SANS Institute. This was announced by Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga in a press release issued last week.

The primary objective of this program is to introduce our youth to the field of cybersecurity in an effort to develop the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

This particular CyberStart challenge is intended for female high school students; females were an underrepresented demographic in the pilot program that took place in summer 2017.

This program will provide female high school students of American Samoa with an opportunity to explore and develop an interest in the field of cybersecurity through a fun, exciting, and rewarding online challenge.

High schools are expected to encourage, support, and facilitate students’ participation in this online game.

Participants will have the opportunity to win prizes for themselves and their schools. Prizes include a trip, with a parent, to the 2018 Women in Cybersecurity Conference.

When asked why SANS is partnering with states and territories in the program, SANS Director of Research, Alan Paller said, “Because the nation desperately needs more highly-skilled cyber professionals, and we have new evidence that CyberStart radically 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 July, but women are woefully underrepresented in the technical side of cybersecurity.

“By opening CyberStart to tens of thousands of high school girls, we may be able to help the nation identify the next generation of talented people who will excel in this critical field,” he said.

All girls in grades 9 to 12 are invited to play. Participants do not need prior cybersecurity knowledge or experience.

Students need only a computer with internet connection to play; therefore, students may participate from home or school. Registration opens from Jan. 29 to Feb. 16, 2018. The official game will be live from Feb. 20-25, 2018.

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Additional details and instructions are also found on the website. For local assistance, contact the American Samoa Department of Homeland Security at (684) 699-0411