Cybersecurity competitions and games are a fun and interactive way to allow students and prospective/current cybersecurity professionals to showcase and sharpen their skillsets and capabilities. These hands-on activities and simulations provide meaningful educational experiences outside of the classroom. Learn more about the cybersecurity competitions and games CISA helps sponsor and ways to get involved below. 

US Cyber Games®

The US Cyber Games® was founded by Katzcy, a women and minority-owned small business, in cooperation with the NICE program at the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). CISA became a founding sponsor of the first ever US Cyber Team in 2021. Selection for the US Cyber Team is highly competitive, as cyber-athletes go through an experience akin to a football combine.

The US Cyber Games will inspire the next generation of cyber professionals through:  

  • Defining a Cyber Athlete - What a cyber athlete is, the skills and competencies they need, and how to score them.
  • Scouting Top Cyber Talent - A nationwide talent search for athletes with the best cyber skills ages 18 to 25. 
  • Creating a Winning Team - Draft and coach elite, high-aptitude, cyber athletes for global competition. 
  • Collaborating Globally - Collaborate globally on cybersecurity games and talent development. 

To learn more about the Season III US Cyber Team and 2024 International Cybersecurity Championship and Conference (IC3), visit the US Cyber Games website.

US Cyber Games Season Medallions

National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) Logo

The National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) is a team competition designed for students to perform administrative and protective duties and manage challenges for an existing network. Teams have identical hardware and software and is scored based on their ability to successfully detect and respond to threats. Registration for the 2024 CCDC season is open! Visit Registration to sign up in your region today.  

Social Engineering Competitions

Temple University Logo

CISA also helps sponsor Temple University’s Summer Social Engineering Competition (SEC), which offers students a unique opportunity to learn about social engineering through hands-on and engaging competitions. This year’s competition theme is Tax Scams and events will take place virtually on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The events are open to high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in teams of two to four members. Sign up for the 2024 competition today.  

President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition (PCCC)

President's Cup Logo

CISA hosts the President’s Cup Cybersecurity Competition (PCCC) to identify, recognize, and reward the best cyber talent across the federal workforce. Participants are challenged to outthink and outwit their competitors in a series of tests that are based on real-world situations to expand cyber skills. For more information on accessing practice challenges, past competitions, and 2024 registration information, visit CISA’s PC3 page.


The Air Force Academy’s (AFA) CyberPatriot Programs are designed to help K-12 students learn more about career opportunities in cybersecurity as well as other science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. With competitions, cyber camps, education initiatives and more, CyberPatriot truly has something for everyone. Explore all that AFA CyberPatriot has to offer!

CyberForce® Competition

The Department of Energy's CyberForce® Competition provides students a hands-on approach to balance security with usability to protect critical infrastructure. CyberForce® works to advance hands-on cyber education to college students and professionals, increase awareness of the connection between critical infrastructure and cybersecurity, and improve basic understanding of cybersecurity within a real-world scenario. Learn more about DOE’s CyberForce® Competition here.

US Cyber Challenge

The US Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program previously supported by the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate through a contract with the Center for Internet Security. USCC’s goal is to identify, attract, train, recruit, and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals into the workforce. With cyber quests, capture-the-flag competitions, and cybersecurity camps, participants are able to demonstrate their knowledge in a variety of information security realms. Visit US Cyber Challenge to learn more.

National Cyber Cup

Through the Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program grant, CYBER.ORG hosts the annual National Cyber Cup, which is a capture-the-flag competition for students that focuses on various cybersecurity themes, situations, and challenges. Explore practice challenges from year’s past and be sure to sign up for upcoming National Cyber Cup competitions.


Through the Department of Defense Cyber Exchange, GenCyber provides cybersecurity experiences for students and teachers at the secondary (K-12) level to help increase awareness of college and career pathway opportunities. GenCyber camps and programs are available across the country at no-cost for students and teachers interested in participating.