Registration is now open for the Spring competition - April 5-7 2021.
Compete in our free scholarship competition and begin your cybersecurity courses in the summer of 2021. There isn’t a faster path to industry.
Cyber FastTrack is the only program that will accelerate your entry into the cybersecurity profession without costing you a dime. Prove your skills and we will provide the rest.
Compete online in your free time alongside your current degree or other commitments. The entire Cyber FastTrack program can be completed while you continue your existing studies.
Test your security skills in an intense two-day CTF event created by experts at SANS.
Evaluate your skills across various security disciplines
During the competition, your knowledge will be tested across many security topics. Are you a binary exploitation expert? Maybe forensics is your forte? Whatever your background knowledge and experience, there will be fun challenges exploring topics ranging from offensive tactics to reverse engineering software and crypto!
Race to the top of the leaderboard
The competition is run in a jeopardy style format with challenges organized into categories of difficulty. Target the advanced challenges for higher points or solve our easy challenges to put points on the board. Whatever your technique, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your position on our live leaderboard.
Play on our unique Capture-the-Flag platform
Immerse yourself in our Tomahawque platform where for 48 hours you will be addicted to the leaderboard, engrossed by our unique challenge briefings, and poised to earn progress badges!
Number of players from the Spring 2020 intake
Top scoring players from Spring 2020
Cyber FastTrack has been my first opportunity to practice some of the technical concepts hands on.
Alex Baker, Cyber FastTrack student
During 2021, 1,000 eligible students will win a scholarship to further their cybersecurity education.
Win one of 400 $1,000 scholarships
The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation will award 400 $1,000 scholarships to the top-performing students in the CTF, which will be available to use for undergraduate study at the accredited U.S college of your choice in Fall 2021.
Gain access to the SANS Cyber Foundations Academy
Scholarship winners and the next 600 highest-ranked eligible competitors will get access to the SANS Cyber Foundations Academy. This multi-week online program is centered around the nationally recognized SANS Cyber Foundations online training course (valued at over $3,000) along with a program of supporting enrichment activities, including talks by America’s top cybersecurity experts with tech updates, and industry employers on cyber careers.
Prepare to launch a cybersecurity career with the SANS ACS certificate - three SANS professional cybersecurity courses and GIAC Certifications - for free!
Up to 200 eligible students who complete the SANS Foundations course and exam during the Cyber Foundations Academy will be invited to apply for a scholarship to cover one, two or three SANS courses and GIAC certifications in the Applied Cyber Security program.
It allowed me to learn and try different tools and techniques that can be applicable to real world problems. Also a way to test and learn new skills that a normal class would not be able to teach.
Previous Cyber FastTrack student
Registration is open now for the Spring competition
Spring 2021 - REGISTRATION OPEN NOW
Register: Until March 31
CTF: April 5 - April 7
Cyber Foundations Academy invitations sent: April 30
Scholarships announced: May 18
Cyber Foundations Academy:- June 1 - September 30 (self-paced program) - June 14 - June 25 (live, interactive program)
SANS.edu program begins: November 1
Cyber FastTrack is the most immersive and challenging CTF I’ve found! Most are focused on either hacking, forensics, or programming but Cyber FastTrack covers all three.
Joshua Levine, Cyber FastTrack student
What are the criteria to be eligible for a scholarship?
While all students can participate in the online challenge event for fun, to be eligible for the $1,000 scholarship and access to the Cyber Foundations Academy, you must be:
To be eligible for the full scholarship for the SANS courses offered through the SANS Technology Institute ACS program, you must:
Note: Students who are previous recipients of a Cyber FastTrack or other SANS Institute scholarships may participate in the CTF event but are not eligible to receive a 2021 scholarship.
What equipment will I need?
To take part in the CTF event, you'll need access to a laptop or desktop with a Virtual Machine (VM) installed. To prepare yourself, we recommend that you download a VM on to your machine and check it works before the CTF opens so you're prepared.
How do you determine who gets a scholarship?
After the CTF competition, we will ask the 1,000 top-performing eligible participants to complete a scholarship application to confirm their eligibility, and announce the winners of the $1,000 and Cyber Foundations Academy places on May 18.
For the SANS ACS full and partial scholarships, applications will be reviewed holistically, looking not only at scores from the CTF and Foundations course, but also academic history, responses to application questions, and the potential impact the scholarship could have on a student’s career. If you aren’t selected in this intake, don’t give up! Come back and try again in the next round.
When does the online challenge event start?
You will have 48 hours to complete the challenges in the CTF. Dates are listed here.
How can I prepare for the online challenge event?
In addition to CyberStart Game, there are many free resources available on the Internet to improve your cybersecurity skills. We will be recommending our preferred resources via email in the run up to the next competition. Make sure you are registered for the next intake to receive these exclusive hints and tips!
Cyber FastTrack is a free, online scholarship competition sponsored by the National Cyber Scholarship Foundation, the Center for Internet Security and WiCyS. The CTF was created by experts at the SANS Institute. The program aims to provide thousands of students with an assured pathway to enter the cybersecurity industry.
To rapidly eliminate the cybersecurity skills gap in the United States by providing scholarships for students with an innate talent for cybersecurity to pursue high-level training as an onramp to a career in the industry.
Our impact to date
The National Cyber Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) charitable foundation created to help the United States close its critical cybersecurity skills gap. The only known defense against sophisticated cyber attacks is cybersecurity professionals with elite talent and advanced training that enables them to defend systems in real time against determined adversaries.
Other nations have a huge headstart in developing people with those skills. The National Cyber Scholarship program is designed to enable the United States to catch up quickly.