UK Cyber Security Challenge Launched To Promote Skills

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Autumn will see a Cyber Challenge in the UK, designed to create new security professionals

A challenge is being launched to persuade users to develop necessary IT security skills in Britain.

The UK Cyber Security Challenge, modelled on the US Cyber Challenge will set tasks, such as treasure hunts or network break-ins, for people who want to establish their information security skills. Winners will get prizes, but will also be up for real jobs in the industry.

Demand for security experts exceeds supply

Details are scanty so far, but the challenge has backing from vendors and government bodies, for a programme which will “bridge the gap between the supply or cyber security experts and the demand,” according to Mohan Koo, managing director in the UK for Australian security firm Dtex – who is on the management team of the challenge.

“There are lots of graduates out there who are skilled, but don’t realise their skills can be harnessed to further a career.” said Koo. The management group surveyed 255 user companies in the UK, and 90 percent of them said they were already having trouble recruiting security professionals, with the majority expecting that difficulty to increase.

The group plans to launch its challenge in autumn, when graduates emerge from university, but aims to sign up more supporting organisations at the Infosec Europe show this week, where the programme will announce its existence.

With sufficient backing, the challenge should be able to offer significant opportunities. The US scheme launched in 2009 has already placed several graduates in jobs as well as creating interesting challenges on the way, said Koo.

Sponsors include the Metropolitan Police, the Cabinet Office, and the Institute of Information Security Professionals.

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