Cyber Security Challenge announces second round competitions

The UK national Cyber Security Challenge has announced four new face-to-face competitions for the next round of the current challenge

The UK national Cyber Security Challenge has announced four face-to-face competitions for the next round of the current challenge.  

Cyber Security Challenge UK runs a series of national inspirational competitions aimed at attracting talented people to the profession and informing them about cybersecurity careers and training.

In the latest round of competitions, professional cyber teams from Orange, Prodrive, (ISC)2, the SANS Institute, QinetiQ and Sophos will test more than 100 qualifiers from the virtual first-round competitions over the coming months to determine the 40 finalists for the Masterclass grand finale in March 2013.

Orange and Prodrive Risk Analysis challenge

The Orange and Prodrive Risk Analysis challenge will pit candidates against a real-life motorsport set-up, complete with Aston Martin Racing car, pit crew, technical team and a complex ICT infrastructure that connects them all.

Candidates will work as security architects to deliver a practical security solution that protects the team’s intellectual property (IP) and confidential information from its rivals in preparation for Le Mans, the biggest date in the international racing calendar.

“Cyber security is a growing issue in professional racing, where the IP of the car and the information relayed between the team during races is vital to the performance on the track," said Michael Cloete, Prodrive head of IT said. "It’s fundamental business-to-business security and risk analysis, looking at how much vulnerability you allow before you put the organisation at risk or how secure you need to be before you run over budget and impede the team.”

SANS Net Wars challenge

The SANS Net Wars challenge will give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on one of the world’s most recognised cyber training platforms.

Currently used by used by professionals at some of the largest companies and government organisations in the world, this is the first time NetWars has been incorporated into the Cyber Security Challenge UK.

During two hours of gaming, participants will be tasked with recovering a number of targets from a virtual environment, with scores displayed on a real-time scoreboard to show their progress.

Sophos Malware Hunt challenge

In the Sophos Malware Hunt, candidates will take on the role of forensics and defence specialists working for the UK Government. They will face the nastiest creations of both cyber criminal gangs and nation states as they run rampant in a virtual environment.

The candidates' mission will be to gather and analyse evidence of attacks on the systems, and identify the attackers’ motives, skill levels and likely origins. Finally, candidates will present their findings and make recommendations on the actions to be taken.

QinetiQ and (ISC)2 Command and Control challenge

In the QinetiQ and (ISC)2 Command and Control challenge, teams of candidates will be responsible for securing the IT systems protecting a simulated top-secret facility. They must identify, fix and exploit vulnerabilities in command software systems and work to anticipate security breaches to avoid attack.

The challenge will provide first-hand experience of what it takes to secure software systems and the critical effect cyber attacks can have on the security and safety of an organisation, its people and its assets.

“Secure software development is a significant new area of focus for information security professionals, with application vulnerabilities increasingly identified as the number one threat to organisations," said John Colley, managing director for Europe at (ISC)2.

“For too long software that underpins business and much of our most critical national infrastructure has been written without enough appreciation for how easily it can be exploited or manipulated. We hope this competition will both educate software developers as to the importance of embedding security from first principles in the systems they write, and also attract some of the most gifted and security minded candidates over to work in a new exciting field where their skills are very much sought after. ”

Cyber Security Challenge UK CEO Stephanie Daman said: “This year’s face-to-face competitions have broadened the range of skills we are testing in a bid to more accurately represent those needed most by the range of employers which support us.”

As well as identifying talented people who can move straight into unfilled jobs, she said the four face-to-face competitions will open the eyes of more than 100 talented amateurs who might never have considered how exciting a job in this sector could be.

Image: Hemera/Thinkstock

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