National challenge seeks out cybersecurity professionals of the future

Infosecurity Cyber security competition
Infosecurity Cyber security competition

Infosecurity Cyber security competition

A national Cybersecurity Challenge – sponsored by the National Crime Agency and the UK government’s communications headquarters GCHQ – is partnering with BCS-accredited security training giant Infosec Skills to address an industry ‘skills gap’ and find Britain’s most gifted info-security managers.

The Infosec Skills Draft – based on real BCS (the Chartered Institute for IT) accredited exams – will train hundreds of recruits for real BCS exams and offer the chance to compete at this year’s National Crime Agency and GCHQ sponsored Cybersecurity Challenge Masterclass Final against a fictional cyber-terrorist group.

The exams will help hundreds of UK SMEs prepare for BCS exams to combat an industry ‘skills gap’.

It forms part of a nationwide contest sponsored by Microsoft, PWC and HM Government aimed at uncovering the best UK amateur security talent.

The Infosec Skills ISM Skills Draft opens to the UK public today, based on BCS accredited assessment tools and there are over £8,500 of free e-learning training programmes available to the best performers.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK has called on BCS training partner Infosec Skills Ltd. to find the information security managers of the future to lead teams of amateur cyber defenders into battle against a mysterious cyber terrorist group.

The ISM Skills Draft is the latest instalment from Cyber Security Challenge, which in May launched its 2014/15 programme of online and face-to-face cyber games aimed at uncovering the best UK amateur security talent.

The four games include three Governance assessments covering Information Security Management, Business Continuity Management and Information Risk Management. These challenges will be followed by an Architecture Assurance competition which will provide candidates with a more technical competition which asks them to consider the enterprise wide ramifications of technical projects.

The first competition, from the National Crime Agency, was accompanied by the introduction of a new enemy – The Flag Day Associates – the Challenge’s first recurring characters who will underpin the coming year’s challenges – and who Challenge candidates will be asked to investigate and defend against throughout this year’s competitions.

In order to neutralise what will be a highly realistic threat, the Challenge must identify the right mixture of talented people. This includes future information security managers, who will have a chance to prove their ability through a series of assessments from Infosec Skills that will test their knowledge and aptitude in data governance and information assurance architecture.

The Infosec Skills ISM Skills Draft is based on a set of real examinations developed by Infosec Skills, used by industry and accredited by BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT.

The top scorer in each of the four challenges will collect a five day eLearning course of their choice plus entry into the official BCS exam, as well as booking their place at one of the Challenge’s new face-to-face cyber battles. These one-day face to face events will run during the remainder of the year and will determine the final line up of online defenders to take on the Flag Day Associates at the Masterclass final next year.

Terry Neal CEO of InfoSec Skills

Terry Neal, CEO of InfoSec Skills

Terry Neal, InfoSec Skills CEO, said “As well as providing a route to future Challenge face-to-face competitions, the Skills Draft assessment also provides an ideal preparation for candidates to take the official BCS exam to gain a highly respected BCS professional certificate in Information Security Governance. What we hope is candidates will also see how broad information security really is and that it’s not just deep technical skills that are required by the UK cyber security industry. If you can combine a passion for security with commercial business and management savviness, you can be a massive asset to the profession.”

Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge said “We are delighted Infosec Skills have returned to deliver another set of competitions for this year. Information Security Management is a vital part of the day-to-day security of any organisation, and is also a key skill set for our Challenge teams as they tackle the threat posed by the Flag Day Associates. Almost any background can produce the skills required for this type of role, so we are looking forward to seeing the new candidates that the Skills Draft will help us to uncover.”

Registrations for the first Infosec Skills competition on Information Security Management are open now and will remain so until Friday 25th July, whilst the game itself will run from Tuesday 29th July.

Members of the public may enter all four challenges over the coming months. Each will only run once and multiple attempts will be not allowed, so it is advisable to do some research into each discipline before attempt each.

The Cyber Security Challenge UK runs a series of national inspirational competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers and learning opportunities. Now in its fourth year it is running an ambitious programme of competitions and activities designed to spread the word about why cyber security is such a fulfilling and varied career and help talented people get their first cyber security jobs. It is sponsored by some of the UK’s most prestigious public, private and academic organisations and is making a notable difference to the career prospects of those with the talents and aptitude to become cyber security professionals.

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