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News

Cyber Security Challenge Now Covers Software Programming

InfoSecurity Europe : 23 July, 2012  (Company News)
Inclusion of software writing in cyber security challenge set to attract more talent into becoming IT security professionals
Cyber Security Challenge Now Covers Software Programming
The UK Cyber Security Challenge is based on a similar initiative in the US and seeks to increase the number of cyber security specialists by generating interesting in IT security from both within and outside of the IT industry.

First held in the UK in the summer of 2010, the Challenge has grown significantly and now has a number of commercial and not-for-profit sponsors, including ISC(2) and the SANS Institute.

Commenting on the extension of the Cyber Security Challenge into the field of software writing, the organisers of the Infosecurity Europe show have welcomed the news, noting that it fully supports the aim of the Challenge to bring more talented people into the cyber security profession.

According to Claire Sellick, event director for the annual IT security show, which is held every April in London, ever since the Challenge was founded back in 2006 by students of the London Business School, attendees at the show have taken a keen interest in the Challenge’s aims.

“As the Challenge has grown over the last six years we have watched this interest steadily rising, especially in the wake of this year’s Challenge being won in March by Jonathan Millican, a first year student at Cambridge University,” she said.

“The fact that the Challenge offers students a variety of benefits – including a choice of career-enhancing prizes with a total value into six figures – has helped to make the programme attractive to a variety of people, many of whom would never have considered a move into the field of Information Security,” she added.

The Infosecurity Europe event director went on to say that programming has re-entered the mainstream educational curriculum in recent times with the arrival of low-cost IT projects such as Raspberry Pi (http://bbc.in/OhnH0M ) - which now also offers prizes for the best programs.

With software now forming a central component of the IT security arsenal against the rising tide of multi-vectored threats, Sellick says the UK clearly needs all the available programming talent it can get.

Hardware technology has advanced to the point, she adds, where software can now control extremely powerful security systems capable of handling vast quantities of data every second.

“But handling such volumes of data requires very skilful security software to drive that hardware - which is why we welcome news that the Cyber Security Challenge is moving into the field of programming. Most of today’s students have never known a time when they did not have computer and Internet access, so tapping their powerhouse of experience in programming capabilities is a very positive step,” she said.

“With software vulnerabilities having been identified as the number one online threat by IT professionals, it is clear we need to test software developer's security credentials, and this extension to the Cybersecurity Challenge is a very welcome move from our perspective,” she added.
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