2023 Wyoming Cybersecurity Competition for Small Business in its Sixth Year

LARAMIE – In its sixth year, Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Business, offering CLE and CPE continuing education credits, is hoping for record registration turnout due to cash prizes and program visibility expansion through grant funding by the Gula Tech Foundation. 

The competition is built for those small businesses who do not have information technology help and want, one-on-one, on-the-job, human based training to manage their security risks.  It begins on Feb. 1 and continues through Aug. 1.

The competition offers attorneys up to 35 hours of CLE credits on cybersecurity related topics like Skills Training, Law Practice Management, Ethics, and Business and Corporation Law.  It also offers up to 35 CPE credits for accountants for the categories of Business Management & Organization, Management Services, Information Technology, Auditing, Business Law, and Behavioral Ethics.  Additional for-credit topics may be applicable to an attorney’s or accountant’s specific field.

In 2023, the Competition will include the topic of preparing for a participating company’s upcoming digital world.  “This means we want to ensure that Wyoming businesses are preparing for things like automatic online payments, smart contracts, deciding if they need digital wallets to accept cryptocurrency, and to start thinking about how quantum computing may affect their business,” said Patrick Wolfinbarger, Co-Founder of CyberWyoming.

Emphasizing this competition goal, an American Bar Association article entitled Approach of Quantum Computing Means Lawyers Should Prepare, discusses how attorneys are starting to develop contracts with strong language about cyber breaches.  But CyberWyoming board member, Robert Mourey founder and Chief DAO Steward of Quantum One DAO, emphasizes that new authentication methods, new website access methods, and new quantum encryption algorithms will be needed to protect data stored at an attorney’s office as well. 

“Quantum computing is definitely going to affect small business. Being aware of the upcoming needs and planning for it is important,” said Mourey.

“It is important that our professional services industry is supported in their efforts to become cyber secure,” said Patrick Wolfinbarger, Co-Founder of CyberWyoming.  “That’s what this competition is all about, providing the support to tackle information security and cyber risks.”

Registration continues through May 11, but statistically those that enter early have a better chance of winning and can work the project at a more leisurely pace.  Judging reports are due August 1, 2023 and participants are judged on the categories of problem solving/innovation, information security, culture/learning, planning, progress, thoroughness, and presentation.

The most coveted prize is speaking at Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference as a top winner.  In 2023, Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Conference will be combined with the Northern Colorado ISSA (Information System Security Administration) conference tentatively scheduled for August 24 & 25 in Ft. Collins, CO. 

The competition is supported by community minded companies and organizations including: Campbell County Health, Capitol Communications, Casper College, Cheyenne State Bank, Computer Professionals Unlimited (CPU), DigeTekS, EvnTec, Factory IT, First Federal Bank & Trust, Gannett Peak Technical Services, HUB International, IECA, K2 Technologies, PDS, Rocky Mountain Cybersecurity, Sweetwater Technology Services, Team Networks, and Wyoming Manufacturing Works, along with a grant provided by the Gula Tech Foundation.

To participate in the competition, business owners or managers should contact info@cyberwyoming.org to get a copy of the intent to participate form and make an appointment to discuss how to become cyber secure.  CyberWyoming is responsible for monitoring efforts to meet best practices and helping the business owners document their progress.  The final step is submitting the documentation to the judges, chosen by local economic development agencies.

Information about Wyoming’s Cybersecurity Competition for Small Businesses can be found at www.cyberwyoming.org/competition.

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