Network Security

Country’s largest cyber security organisations collaborate to design cyber-security challenge

In an effort to find the UK's best upcoming young talent in cyber-security, a consortium of the country's largest cyber security organisations have collaborated in designing the UK's most realistic and sophisticated simulated cyber-attack which they must stop in real-time, and will be carried out at an undisclosed high-profile location.

The simulation, which will be staged on the 19-20 November 2015 will form the second of the Cyber Security Challenge, and will be led by defence, aerospace and security experts, QinetiQ, in collaboration with GCHQ, BT, the Bank of England and the National Crime Agency.

The two-day event will conclude this year's challenge, which saw thousands of contestants investigate the fictitious group known as Black Oleander, which is suspected to be funding cyber-terrorist cells across the world.

Over the course of the last three months, contestants used their cyber-security skills to qualify to play on-demand on Cyphinx, the platform where they discovered the network of insiders planted in corporations across the globe with malicious motives.

The 42 finalists will be assessed both as teams and individually on technical, interpersonal and decision-making skills, all of which are highly sought after by cyber-security employers. 

This will allow a panel of expert judges from across UK industry and government to select winners, including the new Cyber Security Challenge UK champion.

The winners will take home their share of a unique pot of prizes including university bursaries, professional accreditation, access to industry events and professional internships. 

With its sponsors' support, the Challenge has handed out over £300,000 of career enabling rewards to hundreds of the UK's leading amateur cyber defenders, a number of whom have since moved into the profession. Thirty of the 42 competitors in the first of 2015 masterclass held in March are now working in the cyber-security industry.

Stephanie Daman, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: “QinetiQ and the consortium of technical designers and sponsors have cooked up a really exciting challenge for the grand finale. The competition gets bigger every year and offers the candidates a great opportunity to test their skills in real life environments and situations. There is still time to register and qualify thanks to our brand new play on demand platform, Cyphinx. This is an opportunity that has never previously been available this late in the year. We encourage everyone to register and test their skills.”

Bryan Lillie, chief technical officer for cyber at QinetiQ, said: “Cyber-security is one of the most pressing international issues and ensuring that we have the right talent entering the industry is of the utmost importance for the prosperity of businesses, including our own, and the security of the public. 

"The UK is suffering from a shortage of talent and lacks clear pathways from education to industry. As lead sponsor and designer of the latest Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass, we are creating a unique chance for ourselves and other employers to see people apply their skills in a realistic work setting. This will be a real test of candidates' academic, problem solving and technical skills, and we are looking forward to see how they fare against what we have in store.”

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