The Department of Homeland Security and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) launched the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge, a new initiative to encourage girls across the country to learn about cybersecurity and increase related awareness within their own communities, particularly around the growing threat of ransomware. 

Developed in partnership with CYBER.ORG and DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will help develop the next generation of diverse cybersecurity talent and strengthen our Nation’s cybersecurity resilience. 

“The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge gives girls in every zip code across the country direct access to fun activities that will strengthen their skill and interest in cyber,” shared GSUSA’s Interim CEO Judith Batty.  “Women hold only a quarter of cybersecurity jobs in the United States, yet we make up more than 47 percent of the workforce.  GSUSA is continuously working to close this gender gap through programming that inspires girls in grades K-12 to explore their interest in a field that is so critical to the safety and security of our country.  By combining Girl Scouts’ reach and girl-focused programming with expertise from DHS and CYBER.ORG, we will motivate a new generation of girls to become confident cybersecurity leaders.” 

In March, Secretary Mayorkas and GSUSA’s Interim CEO Judith Batty discussed the importance of developing the next generation of diverse talent to tackle the monumental cybersecurity challenges facing our Nation. 

The 2021 Girl Scout Cyber Awareness Challenge will provide girls in grades 6-12 with opportunities to learn more about cybersecurity, practice key concepts, and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they develop during this program.  At the end of the Challenge, participants will be encouraged to publish an article about ransomware to raise cybersecurity awareness in their respective communities. Participants who complete the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement and an invitation to attend a capstone virtual event hosted by DHS during Cybersecurity Awareness Month in October.  Both Girl Scouts and non-members are welcome to participate and encouraged to learn more by visiting