This past weekend saw Cyber Security Challenge and Protection Group International (PGI) join forces to host the first face-to-face competition of the year designed to identify the nation’s most promising cyber individuals.
The aim of the event, held in Bristol, was to help nurture talent and skills within areas of cybersecurity that organizations across the world are crying out for. It’s no secret that there is an urgent need to develop such talent, with widening skill sets in the industry expected to lead to 1.5 million vacant jobs worldwide by 2020.
The competition gave 24 candidates, selected via the Challenge’s own Play-On-Demand platform, the ultimate insight into the mind of a cyber-criminal – a life-size recreation of a hacker’s room.
The participants were tasked with competing against each other to use their skills and cyber-knowledge to solve a cyber-crime much like the kind law enforcement and intelligence are faced with on a daily basis.
Stephanie Daman, CEO at Cyber Security Challenge UK said:
“These events are designed to replicate the industry challenges that investigators face in real life using real tools to tackle simulated threats. We believe that the next generation of cyber talent can only be found by using the most innovative methods and this event stays true to this school of thought. The scenario created for the competition serves not only to highlight how cybersecurity can offer a great career path to our candidates, but also provides a valuable illustration of the true issues at play. These are now high on the agenda of corporations and individuals alike. Events such as this provide an excellent platform for candidates to showcase both their technical and soft skills both of which are essential in this industry.”
The activities were judged by a team of cybersecurity assessors and the top performers will qualify for the Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass in November.
The winning team included: Dan Galbraith, a 17 year old from Feltham, who earlier this year developed virtual games for the Challenge’s play-on-demand platform; Oliver Gillespie a 22 year old mechanical engineering student at Bath who represented the UK in the European Cyber Security Challenge in October; Oliver Simonnet, a 21 year old student from Manchester who, following attendance at a Challenge cyber bootcamp, has co-founded an ethical hacking group at Manchester Metropolitan University; 17 year old Ben Jackson from Bexhill-on-Sea; 33 year old Liam Glanfield from Exeter; 35 year old Mathew Levett from Portsmouth; 21 year old Mohit Gupta from Slough; and 29 year old Patrick Wood from Bournemouth.
Jim Wheeler, Director of Cyber Operations at PGI added:
“Sophisticated training holds the key to preparing the next generation of cyber security experts and we are proud to team up with Cyber Security Challenge UK to form the heart of the career ecosystem for UK cybersecurity. Together we bring the strength of innovative training methods and a track record of producing and nurturing career development in our own environment.”