The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) will sponsor the first-ever U.S. Cyber Team, which will compete in the International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) this June in Greece.
“Cyber competitions are a fundamental element of developing the next generation of cybersecurity talent. Games help motivate the future workforce, and keep the current workforce sharp, maintaining a thriving community of cybersecurity professionals,” CISA Director Jen Easterly said in a press release. “While certifications and apprenticeships are important training instruments, games provide a safe and legal venue to practice offensive and defensive techniques in a real-world environment.”
The first U.S. Cyber Team was developed out of the U.S. Cyber Games, which were founded by the cybersecurity firm Katzcy in partnership with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Development began in May 2021 with a Capture the Flag Challenge (CTF) that included cryptography, networking, web applications, and reconnaissance. Sixty of the participants received invitations to the U.S. Cyber Combine Invitational, which ran from July-September 2021. Akin to a football combine, CISA explained in a press release, the athletes then underwent an aptitude evaluation, interviewed with coaches, trained in cybersecurity skills, and competed in an advanced CTF. Coaches then selected the top twenty athletes to join the first U.S. Cyber Team.
“Our vision is to inspire the very best cybersecurity athletes, build a stronger and more diverse community, and sustain the United States’ world-class competitive edge,” explains Jessica Gulick, commissioner of the U.S. Cyber Games.
CISA said its sponsorship of the U.S. Cyber Team complements the agency’s other workforce development initiatives to expand the current and future pool of cybersecurity talent.