Cyber Security Challenge UK returns to Manchester

The competition recently held a preliminary contest to find the team to represent the UK at European competition

Some of the UK’s brightest young cyber security minds have gone up against one another to see who will represent the UK at the upcoming European Cyber Security Competition. Cyber Security Challenge UK, a non-profit organisation dedicated to inspiring and enabling people to seek careers in the cyber security industry, co-hosted its second face-to-face competition of the year in Manchester on June 15 with NCC Group, a Manchester-headquartered global cyber security and risk mitigation expert. The full day of activities pitted 34 attendees against each other in challenges based on real-life scenarios that cyber security professionals in the pharmaceutical industry see daily.  

With the pharmaceutical industry predicted to be worth over $1 trillion globally, there is understandably a focus for businesses in this sector to ensure that they are suitably protected from cyber-attacks. As a result, pharmaceutical firms are ramping up their investment in cyber security with new technologies. Nonetheless, it is equally vital that there are skilled people who can utilise new technologies and ensure businesses are kept secure. To do this it is crucial that people who are interested in cyber security understand that they can turn their passions into a future career where the need for talent is great. 

Working together in teams, the competitors range in age between 17 and 58 and are either in secondary education, further education or are career changers exploring new pathways. With Cyber Security Challenge UK focusing on increasing diversity in the industry, participants from a variety of different backgrounds, cultures and genders have been encouraged to attend.

As cyber-attacks become more diverse in their scale and execution across every industry, it is important that everyone takes an interest in it and begins to learn the basics. – Colin Lobley, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK

Designed by NCC Group and Cyber Security Challenge UK, the scenario started off as an incident response situation at a pharmaceutical company and quickly escalated into a full network compromise that tested the participants’ abilities and teamwork as the scenario unfurled. As the challenge progressed, contestants experienced the demands and challenges that cyber security professionals in the pharmaceutical industry deal with on a regular basis.

This latest challenge also formed part of the qualifying processes for the upcoming European Cyber Security Challenge. Taking place alongside the Cyber Re:coded event in London from October 15-16, the European Cyber Security Challenge will see emerging cyber security talent from countries across the continent competing against each other to find the best cyber security team.  

“We really want people to realise that working in cyber security does not mean you have to own a hoodie and spend all day in front of a computer screen. As cyber-attacks become more diverse in their scale and execution across every industry, it is important that everyone takes an interest in it and begins to learn the basics.”

“For those who have a real passion for this, the career opportunities open to them are huge and very exciting. The pharmaceutical industry is just one area which is seeing increased investment in security, it is therefore vital that we have the skills need to match the variety of threats being faced,” said Colin Lobley, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK. 

“Nonetheless, seeing such talented individuals during these competitions makes me excited about their future, and the UK as a world leading cyber security hub.”

For more information on Cyber Security Challenge UK and the work it is doing, please visit:  


Fireside Chats - Presented by:


Student experience, quality enhancement, accessibility and inclusion

Wednesday, September 29, 12PM (BST)