Arming tomorrow’s cybersecurity analysts

A competition at university technical colleges across the country is looking to boost the level of diversity among the cybersecurity aces of the future

University technical colleges (UTCs) across the UK will today (November 27) host a competition looking to equip the next generation of cyber talent with the requisite practical skills.

Utilising Immersive Labs’ online gamified skills platform, the 14-19-year-old students will compete in challenges focusing on issues including threat hunting, vulnerability identification and understanding incident response.

The aim, ultimately, is to arm participants with the attributes needed to become a security operations centre analyst.

“In a gloomy global economy, even the most technically talented students face headwinds when it comes to finding employment,” said James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs.

“We believe this, and many of the other barriers to entry in the cyber security market, can be overcome by equipping people with relevant on-the-ground capabilities matched directly to the threat landscape.”

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Competition organisers claim that the anonymous nature of the event – negating any possibility of unconscious bias – will also boost diversity in the sector. This, they say, is of fundamental importance in an industry where, the wider the variety of analysts’ perspectives, the better placed they are to counter attackers from a multiplicity of backgrounds.

“We’re proud to be a part of this initiative to challenge and inspire young minds, from all backgrounds, in the field of cyber security,” said Mike Smit, head of enterprise cyber security, UKI, at event partner, Fujitsu.

“This type of challenge is the key to developing new talent that will lead the way in protecting our nation from the ever-evolving risk of cyber-attacks. It also gives students a real taster for what it might be like to work in this fast-evolving and challenging area of technology.”

Mike Halliday is a founder of the UTC Cyber Group. “The national UTC cyber movement has evolved rapidly over the last two years, which is due to the commitment and enthusiasm of our partners in industry,” he said.

“This event signifies the next step in our evolution, towards a single community of students that will become the next generation of cyber talent.”

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