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Cyber Security Challenge Moves To Next Phase But One Competitor Is Disqualified

Eric is a veteran British tech journalist, currently editing ChannelBiz for NetMediaEurope. With expertise in security, the channel, and Britain's startup culture, through his TechBritannia initiative

Channon Powell drops out of the CSC 2012 competition before the semi-final stage because he has been given a job by RandomStorm

The online competitions for The Cyber Security Challenge UK (CSC) came to a close in December and for one of the winning contestants it has brought a new job in IT security which eliminates him from the competition.

CSC does not promise the competitors a job but it does provide prizes, including  training courses and internships, that could lead to a career in IT security. For Channon Powell this has become an irrelevance.

Penned out

Powell won the SAIC Penetration Test competition in December and was rewarded with the job offer from security management and compliance company RandomStorm. To be fair on the other competitors, Powell has agreed to withdraw from the CSC competition if he qualifies for the Masterclass final which will be held on 10 March.

At RandomStorm, Powell will be joining application testing team as a penetration tester. “I have held a long term interest in online and application security and am excited to be joining such a first rate team of security specialists,” he said. “I’m keen to apply my skills in real-world applications to improve the security of RandomStorm’s clients.”

The appointment once again underlines the basic tenet of the CSC which is that IT security is a vocation and the best experts are those with an innate ability to out think the hackers.

Powell’s next move will be to attend the next phase of challenges which will see the 86 successful entrants from last year’s online games competing head-to-head at the UK headquarters of three of CSC’s sponsors. This phase sees a new set of complex challenges to test how the individual skills of the qualifiers shine through when placed in a team game.

The first set of challenges has been devised by Sophos as a malware hunt competition, the second will be SAIC’s King of the Hill battle where a server has to be defended from attack while ensuring its essential services are not interrupted, and the third challenge is QinetiQ’s network defence game where teams will compete to keep a network running despite numerous real-world-style problems being thrown at them.