Cyber Security Challenge Gains Support And Patron

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Baroness Neville-Jones is the CSC’s first patron and four new sponsors join the group

In its second year of operation, the Cyber Security Challenge is picking up more supporters and, with it, more funding.

Both BT and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) have increased their support to Platinum level and (ISC)², Raytheon, CompTIA and the Royal Mail Group have joined at the level below, Gold.

Open cyber-warfare

The competition, which is open to any British citizen residing in the UK, was devised to find hidden talent who could make the grade as IT security workers, even if they had never considered a job in IT before. Last year saw IT security professionals pitting their wits against students, IT workers, an RAF engineer and a software consultant, among others.

The eventual winner was a postman from Wakefield, proving that there is hidden IT talent in the most surprising places.

The prizes gained at the various stages of the competition are all designed to give the contestants a good start in finding IT security jobs. At the higher level, these include internships and certificated courses from organisations such as Challenge sponsor SANS.

The new members were introduced at the “Cyber Security Beyond Borders” dinner at Australia House in London hosted by sponsors Sophos, PwC, QinetiQ and Dtex Systems.

Also at the dinner, a special honour was bestowed upon the former UK security minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones. As government minister she played a key role in the first challenge last year and presented the prizes after the grand final Masterclass held in Bristol. A short time later, she resigned her post to become the government’s Special Representative to Business on Cyber Security.

In recognition of her input that helped make last year a successful inaugural challenge and her role in persuading the government to increase this year’s funding, she has been appointed as the Challenge’s first patron.

The patron’s role is to provide a strategic view regarding the importance of developing the UK’s cyber security talent pool. Her government role as special representative will also help to raise awareness of the need to address the cyber skills shortage in the UK.

The current challenge is steaming ahead with many competitors successfully completing the qualifying challenges. This takes them through to the pre-Masterclass elimination Stream Finals early next year.

There are still several qualifying stages yet to close enrolment on the Cyber Security Challenge Website, so late entrants still have a chance to compete for the CSC UK Champion.

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