LONDON — Northrop Grumman has announced that it has renewed its commitment to run the successful CyberCenturion competition for a second year in 2016, continuing its efforts to seek out the U.K.’s best young cyber talent.
CyberCenturion is the U.K.’s first team-based cyber security contest specifically designed to attract 12- to 18-year-olds. Delivered in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge U.K., the competition aims to engage talented young people with an interest in cyber as a way to address the national skills gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and encourage careers in cyber security.
The announcement follows the conclusion of a highly successful 2015 pilot competition. The National Finals Competition was held in the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park and was won by a team from King Edward VI Grammar School (KEGS), Chelmsford in Essex. It marked the successful completion of nine months of intense competition representing the U.K.’s first national cyber security competition, outside of the classroom, for this age group.
Eight teams competed in last week’s final, each taking on the role of cyber-experts at a fictional video games company under attack by rival businesses trying to steal valuable industry information. Their task was to protect sensitive customer data and valuable intellectual property against theft by malicious hackers. Contestants battled it out under the watchful eyes of world-leading cyber experts from Northrop Grumman, Fujitsu, the National Museum of Computing, the National Commissioner and the U.S. Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program.
“Promoting education in STEM and building the talent pool in cyber is a core focus for Northrop Grumman, and CyberCenturion has provided a fantastic opportunity for young people interested in the world of cyber security to get their first real experience of the scenarios and challenges that professionals have to grapple with on a daily basis,” said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Europe. “We offer our congratulations to the winners from KEGS and look forward to continuing our partnership with Cyber Security Challenge U.K. to grow CyberCenturion so that it will be as successful in the U.K. as CyberPatriot has been in the U.S. in cultivating the cyber professionals of the future.”
“Partnering with Northrop Grumman provides an opportunity to draw on the company’s invaluable expertise and experience in delivering cyber skills education across the U.S.,” said Stephanie Daman, CEO at Cyber Security Challenge U.K. “People begin thinking about their future careers at an increasingly young age, and it is vital that we find ways to get children interested in STEM early on, in order to curb the skills gap we are experiencing now.”
CyberCenturion is the U.K. version of the proven CyberPatriot competition, part of a major U.S. national youth cyber STEM education program presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and created by the Air Force Association. It is part of the company’s commitment to promoting STEM education and to helping build the U.K.’s pool of talent in cyber security. The CyberPatriot competition in the U.S. has already engaged more than 250,000 children, educating them on the opportunities in cyber security across the U.S. Eighty percent of those who have taken part in CyberPatriot now plan to pursue a higher education course in a STEM subject.
Northrop Grumman is a provider of full-spectrum cyber solutions to the United States government and to allied nations around the world. The company builds cyber into every system, platform and product that it produces in order to enhance mission assurance and resiliency, while investing both in innovative technology and cyber talent of the future. Northrop Grumman is a global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.