GRAND RAPIDS  Many of the region’s best cybersecurity professionals who respond to in-the-moment cyber threats against our state, local governments, schools and businesses will gather to exercise their skills and compete in the Seventh Annual Purple Event on July 17 at the Cyber Hub at WMCAT (West Michigan Center for Arts + Technology).

Anyone interested in the cybersecurity sector is encouraged to attend hosted by the West Michigan Cyber Security Consortium (WMCSC) with partner, Optiv, to see cybersecurity professionals and experts who defend our state in action during a live hacking competition. WMCSC hosts events throughout the year for their members, encouraging growth in the sector and opportunities for practice exercises that increase the capabilities of professionals that defend our region.

The cybersecurity sector continues to grow as Michigan is ranked third in the nation for cybersecurity growth potential only behind California and Texas. Currently, there are more than 6,800 job openings according to CyberSeek.

“This is a rare opportunity for cybersecurity professionals to engage and learn from each other in a neutral location,” said Abraham Jones, Member of the WMCSC Steering Committee. “We are fortunate that we now have Michigan’s only neutral cyber hub, the Cyber Hub at WMCAT, right here in our community to house our event. With the sector being highly competitive, it allows us to gather in one place to watch the ‘best of the best’ practice and compete in their field – many of whom are on the front lines of defending our state from cyber attacks.”

Many of the professionals participating in the purple event also volunteer with the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps (MiC3), the state’s front-line defense system that provides rapid response assistance to the State of Michigan in the event of a critical cyber event.

“It is so important to offer practice competitions such as the Purple Event in order attract and retain skilled cyber professionals in our region,” shared Anthony Tuttle, Program Manager at the Cyber Hub at WMCAT. “This event promotes engagement in the sector by building awareness for local careers, options for staying in Michigan and opportunities that train in order to defend our state from cyber threats.”

The Purple Event is a competition that provides cybersecurity professionals the ability to improve their skills and take their capabilities to the next level through various offensive (red) and defensive (blue) hacking challenges. The red and blue together within the competition makes purple – symbolizing neutrality or a convergence in a competitive industry.

Registration for competing in the event has been closed, but those interested in attending and observing are encouraged to register for free on the WMCSC website at