The winner of the 2103 UK Cyber Security Challenge has been announced: 28 year old Stephen Miller, a chemist with no formal security training.
The Cyber Security Challenge was launched two years ago as part of a government and industry backed initiative to encourage people to choose a career in information security, and unearth new talent to meet the growing cyber security threat to the UK and other countries.
Miller beat thousands of entrants to be crowned the UK’s new cyber security champion. The challenge is a year long trial that involves several online and face-to-face competitions. Miller currently works as a Lab Team Manager at a major pharmaceutical company overseeing the testing and manufacture of their clinical drugs.
According to the organisers, Miller can now choose from a collection of prizes worth over £100,000 ($125,000) including training courses and access to industry events.
“To have won the Cyber Security Challenge UK is amazing. It’s a result that gives me huge confidence to start applying this expertise to protect information and data in my own workplace. I came to this competition in 2010 with no background in cyber security and yet my own interest in the area, coupled with the experience I have built up playing the Challenge competitions, has resulted in me winning the whole thing.” said Miller.
Stephanie Daman, CEO, Cyber Security Challenge UK said that Miller’s success demonstrates the hidden talent that exists in people from across all types of professional backgrounds. She said:
“Identifying and nurturing this talent is vital for the success of UK PLC as even sectors as seemingly unconnected as pharmaceuticals contain vital intellectual property that must be protected. The Challenge exists not only to identify skilled people for the traditional security industry, but also serves to highlight to organisations the security skills within their own teams.”
You can learn more at www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk. On a smaller scale, ESET in North America sponsors the San Diego Mayor’s Cyber Challenge every year and the 2013 winners will soon be announced. Stay tuned!