Government organises cyber-security hackathon

The UK government's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has partnered with The Accelerator Network to host a three-day hackathon, which will see 50 of the brightest cyber-security students from leading universities tackle the critical security issues facing the businesses and national infrastructure providers of today.

The event takes place in June and will pool talent from the UK's thirteen universities, which have been identified as Academic Centres of Excellence in cyber-security research.

Participants will work together on ideas designed to tackle common and complex cyber-security issues, and will receive tutorials and expert advice from The Accelerator Network.

Mentoring, tutorials and expert advice will be on hand for the duration, encouraging contributors to develop commercial applications to real-life security problems. The hackathon will culminate in a pitch event, for which teams will present their developments to an audience of partners, industry leaders and investors.

Ian Merricks, chair of The Accelerator Network, which will deliver the hackathon, said: “Cyber-security is the number one threat facing UK businesses and critical infrastructure providers.  The real issue is that countermeasures are often developed by large teams bound by out-dated organisational structures, whereas attackers work together in disparate more flexible collectives. 

“We hope this event will help create a more informal ideas-driven approach to problem solving.  The Accelerator Network is delighted to be working with BIS to deliver such an event.”

Ed Vaizey, minister for the Digital Economy, said, "Protecting and promoting the UK's digital economy is a key part of the government's long-term economic plan, so it's crucial we have the skills to do this now and in the future.

"I'm pleased that the Department for Business is supporting the Agile Innovation hackathon, which will be a fantastic way of developing new talent and ensuring government and industry can tackle the cyber-security challenges of the future."