Teenager wins cyber security competition

Teenager wins cyber security competition

The title of UK Cyber Security Champion has been awarded to a student, after he managed to fend off opponents in a contest that put the entrants’ defence skills to  the test.

Nineteen-year-old Will Shackleton from the University of Cambridge, who spends his free time developing mobile applications, out-performed more than 3,000 competitors before proceeding to beat 41 finalists and take the crown.

Contestants had to prevent a mock cyber-attack against Britain, affecting power grids, transport and banks in an exercise that took place at London’s Churchill War Rooms. Experts from Lockheed Martin, Juniper Networks, the National Crime Agency, GCHQ and BT drew up the simulation.

The finalists worked together to look into an attack and stop the culprit making the first move within the capital’s financial district, which made web-based banking platforms unavailable, new flotations on the stock market impossible, and made data regarding BACS systems publicly viewable.

Shackleton spoke about how surprised he was to win the contest. He said in a statement:

“I’m convinced security is an area I want to pursue and I can’t wait to take what I have learnt from the challenge into my university studies and summer internship, and eventually into a job where I can do this stuff for real. It’s a big surprise and a huge honour.”

Will’s skill is a testament to how seriously cyber security is taken by those considering their own job prospects in the industry. Reports since the challenge have unfortunately indicated that as yet, few of the participants have made their way in to the industry. For anyone seeking information security vacancies, it is imperative that relevant skills be constantly updated as evidently, competition is high.

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