Training the Next Generation of Cyber Peacekeepers

Article date: Thu, 15 Feb 2018 12:44 GMT

Secarma Glasgow Hackathon

Around 150 students at Glasgow University are to take part in the annual Glasgow University Tech Society cyber warfare simulation, supported by ethical hacking firm, Secarma. The event, which takes place on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th February, is designed to test their skills and give them a taste of what a future career in cybersecurity entails.

Cyber warfare is no longer the subject of science fiction, it’s a credible threat - from interference in elections to a leak of cyber weapons from a national stockpile – which the world is largely unprepared for.

Secarma has years of experience in delivering cyber-training, which they will bring alongside other industry leaders to this latest edition of the Cyber Defence Exercise (CDX) in Glasgow. Teams will represent fictitious countries forced to defend power stations, financial assets and the keys to a nuclear arsenal from an aggressive nation state.

During the 48-hour challenge the students are tasked with securing and defending purpose-built infrastructure. The CDX incorporates multiple operating systems and web apps - misconfigured according to real-life mistakes in the industry, to give as accurate an experience as possible to that which students would encounter in a real-life cybersecurity role.

Secarma is headquartered in Manchester with a significant cyber-defence presence in Scotland. The cybersecurity firm is one of a number of technology companies owned by UKFast CEO and Founder Lawrence Jones MBE.   

Managing Director of Secarma, Paul Harris said: “Cyber-attacks on critical national infrastructure are happening now and with increasing regularity.  If advanced malware infects computer systems in hospitals, at nuclear power plants or water treatment plants the damage could be catastrophic.

“It’s vital we equip students looking at future careers in cybersecurity or cyber peacekeeping with skills that enable them to tackle cyber threats. CDX   allows participants to spend substantial time with some of Secarma’s leading cybersecurity experts, providing them with invaluable experience.”

The free event format prioritises learning and students are invited to take part in workshops prior to the event which include basic Linux, networking, reverse engineering, incident response, penetration testing and sys-admin skills.

Lawrence Jones MBE, founder and CEO of Secarma’s parent company, UKFast said: “In order to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, it’s critical we teach young people about the cybersecurity landscape.

“Secarma is committed to improving digital education and this event is set to be the most realistic and current cyber-defence exercise ever run within a university. It offers a unique experience for students and encourages collaborative learning.  We have plans to extend this format to more universities, encouraging a greater number of IT students to take up a career in the cybersecurity sector and address the alarming cyber skills gap.”

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