Cyber Security Challenge Update

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.


About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
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2 Responses to Cyber Security Challenge Update

  1. Monex says:

    ……….If anything in particular has been repeatedly demonstrated in the last few months it s that the challenges of cyber security and cyber intelligence far surpass the number of skilled professionals and technical solutions available to attend to these issues. Thus it is necessary and urgent that to a new generation of specialists in cyberspace security is encountered and properly educated. Challenges in the public and private sectors are many and not nearly enough sufficiently prepared young people are to be found to face these challenges..One thing is true increasingly more companies as well as the federal government need experts that can guarantee the security of vital information by protecting and safeguarding computer networks that host sensitive data commercial and military strategies registered brands and security codes etc.

    • I couldnt agree more. I wrote about this a while ago here and whilst I doubt the sporting reference travels well, the issue of the next generation ‘getting’ technology does I believe. The probelm is amplified by the fact that it only takes a small group of people to cause considerable mayhem (eg the Wikileaks trial backlash), and you extrapolate this approach over time to every group that has an axe to grind, the cyber attacks will grow in volume and complexity.

      Are we prepared for the next one? Are we prepared for ten years of them?

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