CyberCenturion Winners Crowned as Competition Culminates in London

The CyberCenturion final took place at innovation center Plexal in east London this week, with team ‘Highway to HAL’ crowned the winners of the competition for 2020.

CyberCenturion is an annual online schools/youth contest designed to encourage youngsters into the challenging and exciting world of cybersecurity to help address the current skills shortage in the industry.

Led by Northrop Grumman and delivered in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge UK, this year’s competition began back in September 2019 with 2000 players registering. Several qualifying rounds on the theme of industry 4.0 were held over the proceeding months, whittling the competing teams down to the last 15 that took part in the grand finale on Wednesday February 26.

The final saw the teams tasked with protecting and maintaining a fictional, fully-connected factory, mitigating maintenance issues, optimizing supply chains and identifying crucial efficiency opportunities. Prizes for the winning team included an all-expenses paid trip to the US courtesy of sponsor Northrop Grumman

“As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, the fourth industrial revolution is driving interconnectivity, automation and artificial intelligence in our everyday lives,” said Nick Chaffey, chief executive, Northrop Grumman UK & Europe. “Knowing how to secure personal information on home computers and mobiles to defending critical national infrastructure against attack is vital.”

“Thanks to competitions like CyberCenturion in the UK, the next generation are learning skills for the future and being inspired to pursue rewarding careers in cybersecurity”

Thanks to competitions like CyberCenturion in the UK, the next generation are learning skills for the future and being inspired to pursue rewarding careers in cybersecurity.”

Dr Robert Nowill, chairman of Cyber Security Challenge UK, explained that, for most CyberCenturions, the competition provides players with their first real-world experience of cybersecurity.

“For hundreds of past competitors, it was also their first step towards a career in the industry,” he added. “We’ve now run the competition in the UK for six years, growing from just 50 players in our first year to around 2000 for CyberCenturion VI. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see so many young people go on to start valuable and rewarding careers in the sector. There is a huge shortage of cyber-talent in the UK, so competitions like CyberCenturion are a crucial means of bridging the skills gap.”

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