After a gruelling three-day cyber-attack simulation, the best cyber security amateur in the UK has been found. Mo Rahman, a 22-year-old computer science student, came out ahead of more than 40 other contestants.
Team Daman – named after the late Cyber Security Challenge UK CEO and champion for education in the field, Stephanie Daman – took the honours as overall team winners. The team includedCaroline Haigh, David, Harrison Speight, Joshua Green, Justin Rowley, Thomas Steven Brook, two of whom were below the age of 20.
They were judged as the outstanding group in the Masterclass competition, the government-backed competition to unearth the country’s best cyber security talent. The finale of a year-long series of online and face-to-face qualifying competitions saw 42 amateur talents from thousands of entrants investigate a data breach of a fictional shipping company, fend off live cyber-attacks and build a courtroom case against a corrupt Chief Operating Officer.
The competition was created by BT in partnership with Airbus and IT group Cisco, with support from NCA, Bank of England, Checkpoint, De Montfort University and 4PumpCourt. Set in Trinity House, the home of UK shipping navigation, contestants competed in front of industry experts who assessed and ranked contestants’ performances against real life job requirements including technical proficiencies, teamwork, leadership and communication.
Contestants were also required to present a legal case in a mock courtroom in front of prosecution and defence barristers, as well as a judge.
The Challenge works with some of the top organisations in the cyber security industry to design and implement its programme of competitions. This looks to add realism to the challenges, as well as ensure that the skills tested and taught are the type companies are need. 50% of previous contestants have gone on into jobs in the industry.
As the UK’s reigning Cyber Security Challenge Champion, Team Daman now receives a choice of rewards from a collection of career-enhancing prizes, including valuable industry training, university courses, and access to strategic industry events.
Nigel Harrison, Acting CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK said: “This year’s Masterclass has tested a more diverse range of skills than ever before to truly reflect the scale of modern cyber security. Not only were contestants tested on their technical proficiencies, they were tasked with building a legal case against a suspected cybercriminal, something increasingly seen in court rooms today.
“Our sponsors design competitions for us, to provide gifted individuals with a safe environment to showcase their skills in front of prospective employers. If you have an inquisitive mind and an interest in cyber security, we encourage you to sign up today and you could be at the forefront of securing our digital world.”
Mo Rahman, winner of Cyber Security Challenge UK Masterclass 2017 said: “Winning this competition is a huge honour for me. Cyber Security Challenge UK provides the next generation of cyber enthusiasts with the chance to team up with like-minded people and creates a network of talent.
“Competitions such as this equip you to deal with a huge number of challenges and provide you with a direct route to industry. Cyber Security Challenge UK was a principal factor for my interest in cyber security and in kick starting my career.
“The experience I have gained over the last couple of days is unrivalled and simply can’t be obtained outside of these real world settings. Working with industry experts has given me the confidence to enter the industry and pursue a career in an area that I have developed a true passion for.”
To sign up to the 2018 competition, please visit https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/