Security Training Scholarship made possible by GOOGLE, Bloomberg AND Facebook
In partnership with the SANS Institute, WiCyS is proud to offer the Security Training Scholarship made possible by Google, Bloomberg and Facebook.
Applications are closed for 2021/2022.
The WiCyS Security Training Scholarship made possible by Google, Bloomberg and Facebook is a multi-staged scholarship opportunity for WiCyS members. Those selected will participate in a reliable pathway to launch and advance in their cybersecurity careers through skills development. The focus of this scholarship is to award WiCyS members who are seeking cybersecurity employment within the next 1.5 years. The program is designed for students and/or career changers!
Build and leverage the power of community. During each stage of the scholarship, a cohort is established with mentors and peers to help guide and support recipients. This powerful network will be there through every step of the scholarship experience to lean in on. The collective strength of all involved is priceless.
Graduates of the program will be ready to pursue careers in cybersecurity!
Stage 1: SANS Beginner-level CTF
August 6 at 11am CT to August 9 at 11am CT
All eligible applicants will be invited to participate in the SANS Beginner-level CTF. This beginner-level CTF is a fun and exciting way to practice cybersecurity skills in a friendly environment. This multi-disciplined Capture the Flag system has over 28 content packs and a variety of engaging challenges for participants to discover their strengths, while challenging their limits. If new to cybersecurity, Beginner-level CTF is a great place to start as it teaches while challenges are being solved with an integrated hint system.
At the end of Stage 1: 250 candidates will advance to Stage 2
Next Stage/Stage 2 Selection Criteria:
- Application essay
- Performance and Engagement in SANS Beginner-level CTF
- Community engagement in cohort
Stage 2: CyberStart Game
August 23 at 11am CT to October 10 at 11am CT
250 recipients will be invited to participate in the SANS CyberStart Game. This will give participants a chance to demonstrate (and discover) their passion for cybersecurity in an interactive, gamified learning platform. CyberStart Game introduces participants to such topics such as Linux, web attacks, programming, forensics, and more. Full of challenges that will test the persistence and research needed when facing authentic cybersecurity tasks, CyberStart Game builds up students’ technical skills and creative thinking.
Players become an agent for the virtual Cyber Protection Agency, where they embark on stopping criminal gangs who are using their cyber skills to do damage online. Agents must use various defensive tactics to thwart these cyber criminals’ attempts. The rich narrative, well-designed challenges and user-centric progress system is designed to enable participants to work at their own pace. All players can will earn points as well as dozens of badges to collect as they progress through the Game.
At the end of Stage 2: 100 candidates will advance to Stage 3
Next Stage/Stage 3 Selection Criteria:
- Application essay
- Performance during CyberStart Game
- Community engagement in cohort
Stage 3: SANS CyberTalent Assessment
October 13 at 11am CT to October 18 at 11am CT
100 recipients will be invited to participate in the SANS CyberTalent Assessment. This will measure participant’s technical aptitude for cybersecurity learning and fundamental skills to gauge potential for moving into the next stage of the program.
At the end of Stage 3: 38 candidates will advance to Stage 4
Next Stage/Stage 4 Selection Criteria:
- Performance in SANS CyberTalent Assessment
- Community engagement in cohort
Stage 4: SEC275/Foundations + GFACT
October 25 to December 13
38 recipients will be invited to participate in the SEC275/Foundations course + GFACT certification exam. This is an online interactive hands-on learning program that includes 59 modules of foundational material without which students generally struggle in advanced cybersecurity training and in technical cybersecurity roles. Participants will acquire strong understanding of devices and networks work while rapidly progressing into the key concepts of protecting digital components. Additionally, the fundamentals of Windows, Linux and programming in two languages widely used by cybersecurity professionals are taught. The course culminates with active labs that introduce key cybersecurity tools, exploits and mitigation techniques.
These 38 recipients will also be invited to complete the GFACT certification. This certification validates a practitioner’s knowledge of essential foundational cybersecurity concepts. GFACT-certified professionals are familiar with practical skills in computers, technology, and security fundamentals that are needed to kickstart a career in cybersecurity.
At the end of Stage 4: 38 recipients will be invited to participate in the SANS SEC275: Foundations course + GFACT certification exam.
Next Stage/Stage 5 Selection Criteria:
- Successful completion of Stage 4
- Community engagement in cohort
Stage 5: Course 2 (SEC401/GSEC) and Course 3 (SEC504/GCIH)
December 20, 2021 to April 25, 2022
These 38 recipients will dive deeper into their cybersecurity coursework by continuing in advanced SANS training courses along with the opportunity to complete additional certifications.
Course 2: SEC401 Course + GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification
SEC401 is an interactive hands-on training course. The following is a sample of the lab activities that students will carry out:
- Set up a virtual lab environment
- Conduct tcpdump network analysis
- Use Wireshark to decode network traffic
- Crack passwords
- Use hashing to verify the integrity of digital evidence
- Analyze networks with hping3 and Nmap
- Secure and audit a Windows system against a security template
The GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) certification validates a practitioner’s knowledge of information security beyond simple terminology and concepts. GSEC certification holders are demonstrating that they are qualified for hands-on IT systems roles with respect to security tasks.
- Active defense, defense in depth, access control & password management
- Cryptography: basic concepts, algorithms and deployment, and application
- Defensible network architecture, networking & protocols, and network security
- Incident handling & response, vulnerability scanning and penetration testing
- Linux security: structure, permissions, & access; hardening & securing; monitoring & attack detection; & security utilities
- Security policy, contingency plans, critical controls and IT risk management
- Web communication security, virtualization and cloud security, and endpoint security
- Windows: access controls, automation, auditing, forensics, security infrastructure, & securing network services
Course 3: SEC504 Course + GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certification OR Equivalent Elective aligned with Career Goals
SEC504 is for individuals who lead or are a part of an incident handling team. General security practitioners, system administrators, and security architects will benefit by understanding how to design, build, and operate their systems to thwart attacks. Participants will learn:
- How to best prepare for an eventual breach
- The step-by-step approach used by many computer attackers
- Proactive and reactive defenses for each stage of a computer attack
- How to identify active attacks and compromises
- The latest computer attack vectors and how you can stop them
- How to properly contain attacks
- How to ensure that attackers do not return
- How to recover from computer attacks and restore systems for business
- How to understand and use hacking tools and techniques
- Strategies and tools to detect each type of attack
- Application-level vulnerabilities, attacks, and defenses
- How to develop an incident handling process and prepare a team for battle
- Legal issues in incident handling
The GIAC Certified Incident Handler (GCIH) certification validates a practitioner’s ability to detect, respond, and resolve computer security incidents using a wide range of essential security skills. GCIH certification holders have the knowledge needed to manage security incidents by understanding common attack techniques, vectors and tools, as well as defend against and respond to such attacks when they occur. Areas covered are:
- Incident Handling and Computer Crime Investigation
- Computer and Network Hacker Exploits
- Hacker Tools (Nmap, Nessus, Metasploit and Netcat)
2021 – 2022 Cohort Timeline
July 8: Applications Open
July 8 at 1pm CT: WEBINAR: WiCyS Security Training Scholarship: The GRIT and the GLORY. Register HERE
August 2: Applications Close
August 5: Notifications for Stage 1 Acceptance Distributed
August 6-9: SANS Beginner-level CTF
August 16: Notifications for Stage 2 Acceptance Distributed
August 23: CyberStart Game Starts
August 27 at 1pm CT: Welcome Webinar
October 10: CyberStart Game Ends
October 12: Notifications for Stage 3 Acceptance Distributed
October 13-18: Stage 4 Application and Assessment
October 21: Notifications for Stage 4 Acceptance Distributed
October 25: SEC275/ SANS Foundations Begins
December 13: SEC275/SANS Foundations ends + GFACT
December 20: Stage 5 -First Course Begins
February 21: Stage 5 – First Course Ends
February 28: Stage 5 – Second Course Begins
April 25: Stage 5 – Second Course Ends
2020 Security Training Scholarship made possible by Google HIGHLIGHTS
The trifecta of WiCyS Strategic Partners are excited to join forces to make an even larger impact on the WiCyS community by more than tripling last year’s scholarships!
- 900+ applicants
- 440+ beginner CTF participants
- 116 CyberStart Game
- 15 Full Scholarship Recipients
- Majority of recipients were employed before the program ended
2020 Program Report:
The 2020 multi-tiered program allowed a larger pool of WiCyS members to benefit from the meaningful participation in the Security Training Scholarship program!
- Average GSEC score is 90%
- One WiCyS Scholarship Recipient scored 99%
- WiCyS cohort scored higher than any other SANS scholarship cohort
WiCyS executive director
“You cannot put a price tag on the power of community, and last year’s WiCyS Security Training Program, made possible by Google, proved just that. We are thrilled to scale the program this year, powered by scholarships from Google, Bloomberg, and Facebook. Now, 38 WiCyS members will be able to dive deep and change the trajectory of their career in less than a year, all within a cohort setting with extensive support and resources provided by mentors and colleagues. That’s what empowerment looks like, and we are thrilled that these three incredible strategic partners of WiCyS can make this happen for not only the WiCyS community, but also for the sake of the cybersecurity workforce at large.”
Student, Western Governors University & Midwest Regional Network Enterprise Center
Student at WGU and Cybersecurity Analyst Apprentice
Student, University of Maryland College Park
Desktop Support, Vashon Island School District Highline College, Cybersecurity & Digital Forensics BAS
Technical Business Analyst, Dominos Pizza
Student, Miami Dade College
“Since participating in a variety of WiCyS training opportunities I have: Received offers to intern at Intel (software engineer in their client computing group) and Amazon (security engineer). I didn’t know internships paid this well! Passed my Security+, found mentors and a web of support in my cohort peers, placed in the top 3% of individual competitors in NCL, making the top 1% in digital forensics and network traffic analysis, and gained visibility from mentors on LinkedIn. I honestly couldn’t be more geeked. Thank you SO much WiCyS!!“
“If I wasn’t sure a career in cybersecurity was for me before the training began, now I am 100% certain. Through the training scholarship I have gained invaluable technical skills, grown my confidence, secured a security internship and got to be a part of a supportive community of women learning and growing together.”
Outreach Program Manager, Security & Privacy, Google
CyberTalent Program Director, SANS Institute
“WiCyS is a leader when it comes to addressing the cybersecurity talent gap and increasing diversity in the field. SANS has been proud to partner with WiCyS for nearly a decade to first support the conference and increase awareness of the need to diversify the cyber workforce, and over the last several years, build programs such as the Security Training Scholarship that change lives and provide a tangible impact to launch individuals’ careers or further their education in cybersecurity. The WiCyS team works tirelessly to engage and grow their community and improve the overall cybersecurity ecosystem.”
Senior Program Manager, Facebook
“The WiCyS team has long been one of the greatest advocates for diversity in the cybersecurity industry, providing excellent training and life-changing opportunities for the scholarship recipients. As a founding sponsor of the organization, and a presenting co-sponsor for the WiCys Security Training Scholarship Program, Facebook is proud to support WiCyS’s mission.”
Business Information Security Officer, Bloomberg
“WiCyS’ Security Training Scholarship Program is not only an excellent opportunity for Bloomberg to support the development of a new generation of cybersecurity professionals, but also it aligns with our company’s diversity and inclusion efforts. WiCyS’ commitment to bridging the cybersecurity skills gap is unparalleled, and Bloomberg is excited to deepen our relationship with this organization.”