This October, ten of the UK’s sharpest young cybersecurity minds will head to Bucharest in Romania to compete against teams from 20 countries across Europe in this year’s European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC). Managed by Cyber Security Challenge UK and led by Team Captain Sophia McCall, the team has spent the summer training with NCC Group and honing their skills using Immersive Labs. Now, they’re ready to bring home gold.
Sophia Mcall, UK Team Captain
Established in 2009, ‘Cyber Security Challenge UK’ is a non-profit organisation backed by some of the UK’s leading public, private and academic bodies with a longstanding mission to encourage more cybersecurity talent into the pipeline.
Cyber Security Challenge UK selects, nurtures and mentors young talent to build the UK team, and strives to include individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences. The team, from across the UK, has a strong mix of different cyber skills and brings a broad range of experiences to the competition.
Cyber Security Challenge UK – helping to encourage new talent
In a sector facing an acute shortage of fresh talent, competitions like the ECSC are crucial as they allow competitors to meet industry leaders, network with peers from across the continent and get a taste for working in cybersecurity. By taking part, the team set themselves apart as outstanding individuals, equipped with the skills they need to pursue a career in the industry.
Run by ENISA, the European agency responsible for cybersecurity for the European Union, the ECSC is a three-day competition that challenges competitors to complete a series of security-related tasks from domains such as web and mobile security, reverse engineering and forensics. This year, the competition will be held in Bucharest, Romania from 9th to 11th October 2019.
Team Captain Sophia McCall: “I have the Cyber Security Challenge and my lecturers in college to thank for the fact I’m pursuing a cybersecurity degree. I had no exposure to cybersecurity when I was younger, so without them I may never have ended up in the industry. It’s now my passion to get other young girls and people from all backgrounds involved, and competitions like the ECSC are an incredible way to explore opportunities in the industry and find out if it’s the right career for you.”
Dr Robert Nowill, Chairman, Cyber Security Challenge UK: “Our mission is to be as inclusive as we can in order to increase the number of people entering the cybersecurity industry, and competitions like the ECSC are an integral part of our efforts to broaden the reach of cyber. We have always looked to encourage participation by those who may not otherwise have considered career pathways into cyber, and this year’s team represents an incredible mix of ages, genders and backgrounds. We’re already extremely proud of the team! They’ve been training hard all summer, and we can’t wait to see how they fare in Bucharest.”
Colin Gillingham, Director of Professional Services at NCC Group: “Our long-standing training partnership with the Cyber Security Challenge is part of our mission to increase diversity in cybersecurity. Our aim is to make society safer and more secure, but this will only be achieved when the industry is as diverse and representative as the society that we are working to protect. This year’s Team Captain, Sophia McCall, has just completed a placement year at NCC Group, and we’re delighted to have supported her as she blazes a trail for the female cyber professionals of the future.”
James Hadley, Founder and CEO at Immersive Labs said: “We believe strongly that challenge-based training exercises are by far the best way for cybersecurity experts to keep themselves ahead of the latest threats. We’re delighted to be supporting the UK team with access to our on-demand and gamified cyber skills content. Their points haul from our CTFs and Malware Analysis labs have been particularly impressive. We wish the team every success not just as they head to Bucharest but in their bright futures as professional cyber defenders.”
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