Tomorrow, Kiwis across the country will be at the University of Waikato for the 10th annual New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge. With over $6,000 in prizes up for grabs across three categories, this event is the largest of its kind in the country.
More than 400 aspiring cyber experts participated online in the first round, with the top 150 contenders set to compete at the University's Hamilton campus on July 7th and 8th. Across the two days, they will immerse themselves in a series of challenges, connect with industry experts, and gain valuable insights into the latest tools and techniques of the trade.
Dr Vimal Kumar, Senior Lecturer at the University of Waikato's Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato (CROW) lab, emphasises the significance of the Cyber Security Challenge in highlighting the pressing need to combat cyber crime. He says it provides an ideal testing ground for those interested in the industry.
"With New Zealanders losing nearly $2 million per month to cyber criminals, we are facing not only a nationwide skills gap but an awareness gap around cyber crime. We need more people to consider careers in cyber security," Dr Kumar highlights. "Our challenge offers participants a hands-on opportunity to test and learn, supported by respected experts in the field."
With high school, tertiary and open categories, the challenge's objective is to encourage anyone, regardless of age, to explore their potential for a career in cyber security. Dr Kumar says he takes pride in the competition's student-led nature.
"The Cyber Security Challenge has always been driven by students, with PhD students taking the lead in organising the competition and receiving assistance from masters and honours students. We are grateful for the support provided by our corporate sponsors to enable participants to see if they have what it takes to have a career in cyber security.”
The Cyber Security Challenge 2023 features a keynote by CERT NZ Director Rob Pope and other industry experts that are also open to the public to attend. Details can be found here.
Cyber Security Challenge 2023 Sponsors:
Platinum - Endace, Defend, CyberCX, Deloitte, SecurityLit
Gold - First Watch, Gallagher Security
Silver - DTA, Lightwire