CyberCenturion Vll launches with pledge to increase diversity in participation


At the official launch of CyberCenturion Vll, Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive, UK, Europe and Middle East, Northrop Grumman announced that the 2020/21 focus of the competition will be on encouraging greater diversity in the cyber security sector.

CyberCenturion VII is open to all secondary school students in the UK, UK Crown Dependencies and UK Overseas Territories and starts in October 2020 with the national finals due to take place in April 2021. CyberCenturion is the UK edition of the global CyberPatriot programme, sponsored and led by Northrop Grumman, designed by the U.S. Air Force Association and delivered in the UK in partnership with the Cyber Security Challenge UK.

“Our mission at Northrop Grumman is to recruit, develop and retain the most talented employees, and that means having access to the most diverse talent pool to ensure that our cyber security teams retain a vigour and dynamism that matches the challenges in our sector.” Chaffey said at the virtual launch. “We believe that continuing to create a work force and a workplace that is diverse and values diversity and fosters inclusion is both the right thing to do and pivotal to delivering innovation. It will take time for CyberCenturion to reach every school in every neighbourhood, but we are asking for your support to achieve this important aim.”

CyberCenturion is a UK-wide competition which gives secondary school pupils the opportunity to develop and bring a myriad of skills into play to crack cybercrime. The multi-round event, for which there is no fee to participate, culminates in a national final for the highest scoring teams. If Covid-19 restrictions prevent a face-to-face final in 2021, in line with qualifying rounds, the final will take place as a virtual event.

CyberCenturion VII is adopting the theme of space, to highlight the unlimited opportunity that young people from all backgrounds in cybersecurity have, linked to the pioneering work Northrop Grumman does in space. This ranges from the historic Lunar Module, the vehicle that landed men on the moon, to the Mission Extension Vehicle (MEV) and James Webb Space Telescope .

Nitya Sri Adapala is a past winner of CyberCenturion: “It opened my eyes and those of my teammates to a whole world of inspirational people that we could talk to and learn from.

As a direct result of entering CyberCenturion, the enrolment onto Computer Sciences at our school went from 3 people to 18 – it’s been fantastic and I do feel proud of myself and my teammates for encouraging girls into the industry.”

Teams have the opportunity to register and participate in online training and practice rounds before the first live competitive round of CyberCenturion Vll takes place on Friday 13 November 2020.

About Cyber Security Challenge UK:

Cyber Security Challenge UK is a non-profit organisation backed by some of the UK’s leading public, private and academic bodies with a longstanding mission to encourage more cyber security talent into the pipeline. Known for its comprehensive back catalogue of nationwide competitions and events, the Challenge works with technical experts and industry professionals to proactively reduce the global cyber security skills gap. Established in 2009, Cyber Security Challenge UK now offers a variety of programmes to nurture fresh talent, from younger years to adult career changers, and supports key diversity and social mobility objectives representing a field that offers rewarding opportunities for all.