Cambridge First Year Wins GCHQ Cyber Security Challenge

Jonathan Millican from North Yorkshire has been named the UK’s Cyber Security Champion after winning a GCHQ competition which has been running for the last 6 months.

The competition included a series of challenges ranging from attacks on webservers, defacement and mail spam. It was then up to contestants to make their suggestions of how they would defend against such instances.

Mr Millican’s team actually finished second but as an individual Milican stood out throughout the tournament and was therefore awarded first prize.

Understandably there is now a large push to encourage young people to pave a career in cyber security.  This has become especially apparent with the recent acknowledgement that there is a lack of expertise overriding the issue of lagging technology.

Judy Baker, director of the Cyber Security Challenge had this to say:

“We want train to train and recruit more cyber security experts because there’s a real need in the workplace.” This was apparent in the list of sponsors which included BT, PWC, Cassidian, HP and QinetiQ, all trying to get a slice of the action by offering various internships, educational sponsorship and training.

Further work done by UK Cyber Security has involved increasing awareness through working with educational bodies to develop better courses.

Milican’s prize presented him with £100,000 worth of fantastic opportunities including a sponsored masters course at the University of London.  Last years winner Dan Summers went from being a Postman at the Royal Mail to working at the centre of it’s cyber security team.

The Director General for Cyber Security at the UK Government stated:

“It is through initiatives such as this that organisations … can continue to develop and maintain our leading edge in cyber space be being able to recruit the right people with the right skills.”

With much scandal around hacking at the moment, particularly with the recent LulzSec arrests it would seem a good career choice and indeed Milican stated that he would now seriously consider such a route.

Next year the plan is to let security professionals go head to head with students. That could be embarrassing with wiz kids like Mr Milican around.

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