South-west youngsters head to Bucharest for Euro Cyber Security Challenge

Cyber Security Challenge

This October 9-11, ten of the UK’s brightest and sharpest young cyber security specialists will head to Bucharest in Romania to compete against teams from across Europe in this year’s European Cyber Security Challenge (ECSC).

Led by Team Captain, Sophia McCall, and managed by Cyber Security Challenge UK, the team have spent the summer training with NCC Group and Immersive Labs, and after two consecutive third-place finishes, the team is now ready to bring home gold.

Cyber Security Challenge UK is a series of national competitions, learning programmes, and networking initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable more people to become cyber security professionals.

Last weekend the team got together for the first of two bootcamp training weekends. This first weekend was spent at NCC in Cheltenham, under the expert tutelage of Paul Harrington, NCC’s Principal Security Consultant. Captain Sophia has spent the last year on work placement with NCC and will return to Cheltenham after completing her university studies. She is joined by fellow south-west cyber-ninjas Barney Colby from Stroud and Joseph Bunce from Bristol.

In a sector facing an acute shortage of fresh talent, competitions like the ECSC are crucial as they allow competitors to meet industry leaders, network with peers from across the continent and get a taste for working in cyber security. Cyber Security Challenge UK (CSCUK) selects, nurtures and mentors the UK team, and strives to include individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Dr Robert Nowill is Chairman of the CSCUK Board and a former Board Member at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) who lives in Cheltenham. He is actively involved in the European Challenge: “Our mission is to increase the inclusivity and diversity of the cyber security industry, and competitions like the ECSC are an integral part of our efforts to broaden the reach of cyber. We have always looked to encourage participation by those who may not otherwise have considered career pathways into cyber, and this year’s team represents an incredible mix of ages, genders and backgrounds. We’re already extremely proud of the team! They’ve been training hard all summer, and we can’t wait to see how they fare in Bucharest.”