NetWars Tests Security Pros in Real-World Scenarios


the NetWars challenge will put the UK’s best cyber security professionals go head to head

Research and education organisation, SANS has launched its first UK NetWars challenge, set to test the cyber security skills of its participants.

In the competition, which will be held at SANS London 2011 next month, participants will compete in a mock enterprise environment to test their defensive, analytic, and offensive cyber skills applying the real-life skills they need to succeed in protecting their organisations.

Separating the wheat from the chaff

NetWars will test a wide range of skills including OS hardening, application vulnerabilities, penetration testing, malware analysis, packet analysis, and more.  “These skills will be tested in a fun and deeply realistic, practical environment that will separate those who can talk about security from those that can really deliver,”  said Ed Skoudis, Instructor with the SANS Institute and the Director of NetWars.

According to organisers, the competition comes at a critical time as this year has seen an unprecedented number of cyber attacks, and preventing them requires skilled cyber professionals, which the UK is severely lacking.

According to James Lyne, a Director of SANS EMEA, Europe has not made cyber security an early career choice compared to other geographies such as Asia where cyber security universities are training a structured curriculum which equips practitioners with a wide skill set early on. “It will therefore be very interesting to see how we compare to others playing the competition internationally.”

“Although NetWars is played as an interactive, competitive challenge, it simulates the real world,” Steve Armstrong, SANS certified instructor, points out that, “The skills needed to succeed in the tournament are critical for IT security professionals to learn and be able to deploy if they are to meet modern cyber based attacks.”

“NetWars is all about testing the skills in an applied fashion that could actually be used by the corporations, police forces, and government agencies that have been attacked and breached throughout 2011,” adds Lyne.

“This year’s NetWars is expected to host participants from over a dozen countries and on top of bragging rights, there will be prizes too. Equipment requirements are minimal – the challenge is not about having the latest software or hardware – it is all about the skill and knowledge to put theory into practice against your peers. Come along, have some fun, and sharpen your skills!” Lyne adds.

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