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Empowering Cybersecurity Futures: WiCyS and Target Launch Third Annual Cyber Defense Challenge

WiCyS proudly announces the launch of its third annual Cyber Defense Challenge in partnership with Target, marking another year of empowerment for WiCyS members.

COOKEVILLE, Tenn., May 29, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- WiCyS proudly announces the launch of its third annual Cyber Defense Challenge in partnership with Target, marking another year of empowerment for WiCyS members. Building upon the success of previous editions, this year's challenge offers an unparalleled opportunity for participants to immerse themselves in the world of cyber defense.

The program will provide WiCyS members with hands-on experiences, engaging them in the dynamics of a cyber defense team. Participants will collaborate with peers, engage one-on-one with the Target cybersecurity team and delve into the intricacies of threat detection and intelligence, gaining insights into current threats in the cybersecurity landscape.

In this year's challenge, participants will assume dual roles as threat actors and defenders in a high-stakes attack scenario against a casino. Crafted by the Target team, this immersive challenge presents a captivating narrative where participants navigate simulated cyber threats targeting a casino's network. The challenge is divided into three tiers, guiding participants from capturing flags in Tier 1 to synthesizing their experiences in Tier 3. Alongside the competitive aspect, participants will benefit from mentorship opportunities, networking sessions and direct interactions with Target cybersecurity experts.

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In Tier 1, groups will compete across multiple levels to capture flags related to a threat actor known for ransomware attacks. The top 50 participants will advance to Tier 2, where they will learn recovery strategies and utilize decryption tools. The top 10 challengers from Tier 2 will progress to Tier 3, where they will summarize and present their key insights to Target and WiCyS. The top ten finalists will receive scholarships to attend the 2025 WiCyS conference.

Upon completion of the program, participants will gain valuable insights into threat actors' perspectives, learn to leverage threat intelligence for detection, collaborate effectively within cyber defense teams, contribute to open-source technology and expand their professional networks within the cohort.

The Cyber Defense Challenge embodies Target's commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the cybersecurity domain. Through this initiative, Target aims to equip aspiring cybersecurity professionals with the skills, knowledge and network necessary to excel in an evolving threat landscape. Exclusive to WiCyS members, the program offers hands-on experiences simulating real-world cyber defense scenarios, providing invaluable insights into threat detection and intelligence. No prior cybersecurity experience is required to participate, as the challenge is designed as a tiered, multi-staged learning opportunity.

Reflecting on her experience, Krysten Stevens, a previous participant, emphasized the pivotal role of programs like the Cyber Defense Challenge in guiding individuals toward their cybersecurity niche. Another past participant, Poornima Venkatesh, highlighted the unique opportunity provided by the challenge to investigate real-world malware scenarios under expert guidance. Venkatesh, who went on to win a WiCyS scholarship, described it as a true honor and a significant milestone in her professional journey.

Registration for the Cyber Defense Challenge is now open until June 14, 2024. Interested WiCyS members can learn more and apply at https://www.wicys.org/benefits/cyber-defense-challenge-made-possible-by-target/.

About WiCyS:
Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is a nonprofit organization with international reach dedicated to the recruitment, retention and advancement of women in cybersecurity. Founded by Dr. Ambareen Siraj through a National Science Foundation grant given to Tennessee Tech University in 2013, WiCyS offers opportunities, trainings, events, and resources for its community and members. Strategic partners include Tier 1: Akamai Technologies, Amazon, Bloomberg, Carnegie Mellon University – Software Engineering Institute, Cisco, Ford Motor Company, Google, LevelBlue, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Optum, Sandia National Laboratories, SentinelOne. Tier 2: Accenture, Adobe, DeVry University, Intel, JPMorgan Chase & Co., McKesson, MITRE, Motorola Solutions, Navy Federal Credit Union, Workday. To partner, visit http://www.wicys.org/support/strategic-partnerships/

Media Contact

Lynn Dohm, Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS), 815-530-7307, lynn@wicys.org, https://www.wicys.org/

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SOURCE Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS)