Top UK Cyber Talents Reveal the Biggest Threats and Opportunities Facing the Cyber Security Industry

Posted — 16.10.2018

Europe’s next generation of cyber security experts will congregate for the European Cyber Security Challenge, a two-day battle to find the continent’s ultimate cyber champions.

Coached by Fujitsu and BAE Systems, team UK is comprised of 10 cyber security novices aged 18-25 who have endured an exciting and rigorous process to qualify for today’s competition. The talented individuals who have been selected to represent the UK are studying and working in the field and agree that the rate at which technology is advancing presents complex threats that we must work harder to protect against, as well as opportunity in equal measure for the industry to grow and become more diverse.

Among the threats considered most prolific by the UK’s European Cyber Security Challenge team, nation state cyber-attacks, attacks on critical infrastructure and IoT vulnerabilities get the majority vote. In response to today’s threats, tomorrow’s talent see a growing need for more funded research, information sharing and efficient use of AI to allow us to function at our optimum in an increasingly technologically-enabled society. Team member and DevOps specialist, Laurence, highlights how the industry in the UK is threatened by the cyber skills shortage and poor compensation packages, driving talented professionals to seek opportunities elsewhere. Up and coming penetration tester, Gwion, encourages organisations and individuals to seize the opportunities for industry growth in response to the high-profile hacks that have occurred in recent years.

There’s no shortage of reasons to get involved with Cyber Security Challenge UK—the contestants’ consensus is to simply go for it, believe in your skills and learn together as you progress through the rounds. Elitism and arrogance have no place in the challenge environment, which has been commended by entrants for being highly inclusive as well as doing good work to promote diversity.

Organised by Cyber Security Challenge UK, in partnership with ENISA, BT and Cisco, the European Cyber Security Challenge will see a total of 170 contestants across 17 European countries battle to become the top cyber security team in Europe. The team’s skills will be tested in a variety of ways, including forensic analysis, reverse engineering, network analysis, steganography, cryptography and social engineering, and they will aim to topple the reigning champions Spain in the latest series of competitions. To date, these challenges have proven to be a great source of talent for companies seeking to recruit top young talent in cyber security and have led participants to roles with government organisations and the financial sector, as well as utilities and telecoms providers.

“It is exciting to see that there is so much cyber security talent across Europe. These contestants who were qualified to participate in the European Cyber Security Challenge are the ones who will soon be protecting our personal, private and business information,” said Colin Lobley, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK. “By competing with our allies and neighbours from across Europe, we can not only learn a lot from each other in how we find and nurture talent, but also highlight to those both watching and taking part what an amazing career awaits them in cyber security.”

“Protecting both our consumer and business customer’s data is a vital part of our business. We know how difficult this can be in today’s day and age given the scale and variety of attacks that now take place,” said Mark Hughes, CEO, BT Security. “Working with Cyber Security Challenge UK, to identify and help progress the careers of those interested in a career in security is an important part of the process for us to keep people’s data safe. Ensuring that there is always a good pool of talent for us to tape into, ultimately helps keep our customers safe.”

For more information on the contestants taking part in the European Cyber Security Challenge, please click here.