TikTok is sponsoring the US Cyber Team to encourage and inspire young people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in cybersecurity.
TikTok announced it’s becoming the founding sponsor of the inaugural US Cyber Games and US Cyber Team, in collaboration with the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) program at the US Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
The US Cyber Games is an esports-style program designed to make use of the educational benefits of gaming to inspire emerging cybersecurity talent in youngsters with vital skills and competencies for global competition.
“We’re incredibly thankful to partner with TikTok to form our national team,” said US Cyber Games Commissioner Jessica Gulick. “At the heart of an elite cyber athlete is creativity, tenacity to solve problems, and the ability to teach and learn as a team. The TikTok community offers an amazingly rich talent pool that embraces diversity, sharing, and learning.”
Cybersecurity, as a STEM discipline, is one of the most serious challenges facing countries around the world, it is also predicted to be one of the most in-demand jobs in the not-so-distant future.
Experts predict that unfilled cybersecurity positions will reach 1.8 million by 2022. The need for information security jobs is expected to grow by 31% in the public and private sectors by the end of the decade.
“As a fast-growing global entertainment and technology company, TikTok is uniquely positioned to encourage young people from all backgrounds to pursue a career in cybersecurity,” said TikTok Chief Security Officer, Roland Cloutier. “Addressing under participation in STEM fields is critical to enhancing opportunity for individuals, developing a stronger global workforce, and inspiring creativity to shape our future.”
The US Cyber Open, which took place earlier this year, saw 18- to 26-year-old athletes of all levels join a free, two-week competition. Winners were able to enter the US Cyber Combine Invitational.
Similar to physical sports competitions, each cyber athlete completed an aptitude evaluation, interviewed with multiple coaches, trained weekly, and competed in advanced competitions to build their portfolio of achievements.
On the official “Draft Day” on October 5, the nation’s top 20 cyber athletes will be invited to join the first US Cyber Team. From there, the team will train together as they prepare to represent the US at the inaugural International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) in December which will be held in Athens, Greece.
At least nine nations will compete in challenges spanning web application and system exploitation, cryptography, reverse engineering, hardware challenges, forensics, and escape rooms.
“It’s encouraging to see the US Cyber Games and International Cybersecurity Challenge receive widespread support from cybersecurity leaders across the public and private sectors,” said Lisa Plaggemier, Interim Executive Director at the National Cyber Security Alliance. “Welcoming TikTok as a partner will help advance education and awareness of opportunities in cybersecurity around the world, including both technical and non-technical roles for young people to join efforts to build a safer, more secure digital world.”
As a global organization, TikTok is also exploring ways to support cyber athletes and teams in other regions around the world as they prepare to compete in Greece.
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