GCHQ and the Cyber Security Challenge have developed a new competition for people not working in security.

The contest, called ‘Network security in the protection of intellectual property' will allow any UK citizen to take on the role of a security manager at a small electronics company, which has recently won a bid to supply components to the Ministry of Defence.

Once registered, the short online assessment will task them with ensuring that the company's IP and valuable data are not stolen by cyber criminals and sold on the online black market. Registration is open until this Friday and the game will run for two weeks until 19th July.

The top 15 players from the game will be invited to a face-to-face semi-final contest, joining winning candidates from a second competition who will compete in a play-off to secure a place at next year's Challenge Masterclass grand finale.

A spokesperson for GCHQ said: “We see threats to cyber security of an unprecedented scale and the theft of companies' intellectual property is one of those threats. It is vital for the future of our economy and national security that we develop the pool of bright and talented people equipped to face the full range of challenges within the cyber security industry.

“The Cyber Security Challenge UK is a real asset in helping the UK meet this growing demand and is an excellent way of discovering new talent. We hope that this challenging new competition is enjoyable and encourages people to find out more about the exciting opportunities in this fast growing industry.”