This week a 19-year-old Cambridge University student, William Shackleton, took the much coveted title of UK Cyber Security Champion. The 12 month contest tasked the 41 finalists with protecting the UK critical infrastructure from cyber attack.
Jointly devised by experts from BT, GCHQ, Lockheed Martin, Juniper Networks and the National Crime Agency, the final event was held this week at the Churchill Cabinet War Rooms.
Finalists were selected over the course of a year in which they had to undertake face-to-face cyber battles. In the final task teams worked together to investigate and stop a simulated attack which first struck on the financial district, then the transport network, utilities and finally a nuclear reactor.
Sounds exactly like the plot of Die Hard 4 doesn’t it! But instead of a bloodied, gun-toting Bruce Willis, William Shackleton was the man to save the day. The Cambridge student, who is having a pretty good year after also just securing an internship on the facebook train, commented:
“It’s a big surprise and a huge honour. I never considered a career in cyber security before taking part in the Challenge but playing their competitions and meeting the industry leaders has shown me there are exciting jobs which need filling.”
There are indeed jobs which need filling in the cyber security industry. In fact the need for talented and skilled cyber security professionals is going to go through the roof (Mr Willis now that action movies are beyond you, you could re-train? Let’s face it, no one wants to see you in another romcom). The reason being that cyber security is now a Board level issue. With stories each week in the media, organisations have finally come to realise that they must act before they become the next victim.
If you don’t have a 19-year old cyber security Jedi in training to help protect your organisation, you might want to consider attending one of our upcoming events. They deal with the issue of addressing cyber security and what measures are appropriate for your business:
2nd April – High Wycombe
8th May, Churchill War Rooms, London
Both events feature talks from cyber security experts, software and penetration demonstrations, the chance to talk to a consultant (for free) and that all important buffet.
Cyber security is a challenge that you need to tackle.