The city’s annual JOLT Cyber Challenge drew nearly 150 participants from across the region to downtown Little Rock over the weekend. The Jeopardy-styled, hands-on training competition that teaches gamers about cyber security and technology development easily exceeded the 2018 competition that drew over 100 competitors and gamemasters, organizers said.
“One of the reasons the JOLT Cyber Challenge is important to our state is because it allows us to showcase our local tech talent, and encourage networking with other tech professionals, building a strong Arkansas tech community, said Wayne Miller, executive of The Little Rock Venture Center, sponsor of the annual event now in its 6th year. “It’s a weekend to educate participants on the many tech opportunities we have right here in Arkansas so we can keep our talent here and help Arkansas tech companies fill their jobs.”
Of the competitors in this year’s challenges, there were corporate, independent and students testing their high-level tech skills on several focus areas, including remote access exploits, web vulnerabilities, code-breaking, physical security, privilege escalation, reverse engineering, code manipulation. The challenge ended on Sunday with the top prize going to the University of Arkansas student team, called “That Team Over There,” earning the most points during the weekend competition.
The JOLT Cyber Challenge is an expert-designed cybersecurity training requiring hundreds of volunteer hours to produce. The challenge was held at the Walton School of Business in downtown Little Rock during Techtober, Arkansas’ annual season of tech celebration held from Oct. 11-13.
“JOLT is a community-focused cybersecurity competition that brings students and industry together to solve puzzles, think critically, and network,” said Chris Wright, lead Game Master and CEO of Citadel Systems, Wright. “The Game Masters are committed to this event because we know the high cost of vulnerability for businesses and individuals. We are deeply committed to encouraging and strengthening Arkansas’ tech community and to insulating individuals and businesses from devastating cyber attacks.”
Next year’s JOLT Cyber Challenge is slated for Oct. 16–18, 2020.