A month or so back I wrote about Sophos being involved in the Cyber Security Challenge. The competition has been run with the express intention of getting people involved in cyber security, and uncovering the next generation of specialists in the field. The reason why this is important has been amply demonstrated in recent weeks in the lax security at the US State Department which has led to multiple DDOS attacks and all kinds of hacking. Cyber Security has also formed a key part of the UK Government’s Strategic Defence Review, and one of the biggest threats to Information Security generally is a lack of properly educated and engaged practitioners.
Well, we are rapidly approaching the finals, to be held here at Sophos in January. Out of well over 3,000 initial registrations, 25 cyber experts have made it through, and the intriguing bit is that many of the finalists don’t actually work in the InfoSec space right now. Some of the finalists are students, some could be probably identified as hobbyists and many are currently in IT but not the security sector. The message here is that there is a rich seam of ability out there (apparently the competition for the 25 places was hot), and we as an industry need to get mining that seam.
InfoSec is not going to go away and will, I suspect, continue its grimy climb up the news agenda. In order to get our basic tenets ingrained into people’s minds, we need to get more mainstream, and so I urge you to support not just this competition, but to get behind its ethos. Offer internships, promote your work internally and generally make a noise. There’s never been a more relevant time to work in InfoSec.