Cyber Security Challenge and BT set up awareness contest

News by Dan Raywood

BT, the Cyber Security Challenge UK and Get Safe Online have launched a joint competition that will aim to teach small businesses about cyber security.

BT, the Cyber Security Challenge UK and Get Safe Online have launched a joint competition that will aim to teach small businesses about cyber security.

Named 'Can you talk security?', it will ask the public to come up with ways to communicate technical security issues in a simple and non-technical way. The winning entry will then be posted on the Get Safe Online website to be used as a resource for small businesses and offices.

The competition is the Challenge's first to test competitors' ability to communicate good security practice to others, rather than whether they can secure networks themselves. It is open to anyone over 14 years old; entrants are asked to demonstrate innovative ways of explaining the risks that cyber threats pose to SMEs, and the simple steps they can take to protect themselves.

Individuals and teams will be split into three age groups: under 17, 18-24 and over 25; one overall competition winner will be announced at the BT Tower in November. There will also be one first prize per age group in the individual and team categories.

Speaking at a BT event this week at the Infosecurity Europe conference, Nigel Harrison, board member of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: “People are able to develop material to help communicate issues of cyber security to employees. It is a challenge for SMEs to spread a security-awareness programme to their employees, so the winning entries will be hosted on the Get Safe Online website as a resource.

“The challenge has always listened to employers to gauge the types of skills they are struggling to find and ensure our competitions identify the most relevant candidates. Whilst the more technical-focused roles continue to lack applicants in the numbers employers want, the cyber security profession is hugely varied with a number of different job titles covering a surprisingly wide range of skills.

“Creative communicators might not seem an obvious requirement for a cyber team, but the need to communicate technical security issues in a way that can be understood by members of the public, employees and decision-makers in boardrooms is extremely important.”

Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “A few simple measures will help internet users ensure they are able to enjoy the maximum benefits of the internet for a minimum risk, and we're excited to be supporting the Cyber Security Challenge UK where anyone is challenged to talk about cyber security in a creative and fun way.”

Dr Bob Nowill, director, cyber and information assurance, at BT Security, said: “Cyber crime is a major issue for UK industry and must be tackled from two angles. We believe that the combination of cyber experts and professionals supported by new talent identified by initiatives like the Cyber Security Challenge will help to strengthen and improve our technical defences.

“However, we must also help educate the wider population on the role they need to play – that is what this competition is all about. It only needs one brilliant idea to resonate with people across the country to make a huge difference to their own security and the UK's as a whole.” 

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