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Students challenged to help tackle cyber security threats

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has launched a new cyber security student challenge with the chance to win up to £500

Posted by Lucinda Reid | April 09, 2017 | Higher education

The BRC is inviting students at UK higher education institutions to participate in a paper contest on ‘cyber security risks facing the UK retail industry’, with a focus on how to tackle them. The challenge, which is open to any student based at a UK higher education establishment, invites students to offer new ideas on how government, law enforcement and industry should work together to tackle the main cyber security threats facing retail in the UK.

Entries will be judged by a panel of leading cyber security scholars from Imperial College, London, UCL, and King’s College, London. Successful candidates will be awarded prizes totalling £800 with the winner of the competition will also be given the opportunity to present their paper to members of the BRC’s Fraud and Cyber Security Group, as well as have their work printed in the BRC’s regular membership magazine, The Retailer. 

Hugo Rosemont, Crime and Security Policy Adviser at the BRC said that he thinks students across the country will rise to the challenge.

“Working closely with partners in academia, this initiative has been designed to provide an opportunity to encourage a future generation of cyber security leaders to engage with issues of rapidly increasing importance to the UK. An estimated 53% of reported fraud in the retail industry is cyber-enabled, which represents a total direct cost of around £100 million to UK businesses.

This is a rapidly evolving field and we are inviting the next generation to come forward with suggestions of new ideas and innovation that can help us keep on top of the challenges facing businesses - Hugo Rosemont, Crime and Security Policy Adviser at the BRC

The retail industry has long been investing in its cyber resilience in this context, however this is a rapidly evolving field and we are inviting the next generation to come forward with suggestions of new ideas and innovation that can help us keep on top of the challenges facing businesses,” he said. 

The challenge is being hosted as part of the BRC’s campaign on cyber security. The BRC recently launched a cyber security ‘toolkit’ for retailers that provides businesses of all sizes with a practical, step-by-step guide to prevent and manage cyber security threats and protect the customers they serve. The toolkit is for the whole of the retail industry and it was launched by Home Office Minister Sarah Newton earlier this month, and has received support from, amongst others, the UK’s new National Cyber Security Centre.

To enter, visit the competition entry guidelines. 

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