Cheltenham: GCHQ Competition To Find Cyber Security Talent

21 August 2014, 05:00


GCHQ is looking for people to protect a fictitious aerospace technology company threatened by imminent attack from cyber terrorists.

Assignment: Astute Explorer is the latest game from the Cyber Security Challenge UK, who run a series of national competitions aimed at attracting talented people into the profession and informing them about cyber security careers. 

It gives people a chance to act like a GCHQ operative, using their cyber security skills to investigate and fix the vulnerabilities of a global defence company ahead of a forewarned cyber-attack. 

"GCHQ, as the UK's National Technical Authority for Information Assurance, is pleased to have been able to develop an original game for the Cyber Security Challenge," says Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for the National Technical Authority for IA. 

"We have designed Astute Explorer to really test candidates' cyber security skills. At GCHQ, like many other high tech organisations, we recognise the need for a skilled workforce which is why we are delighted to once again support the Cyber Security Challenge to inspire the next generation of cyber security talent." 

Those who register will be competing to book their place at the Challenge's first in a series of reconnaissance meet-ups as part of Operation: Flag Day. Here the most impressive candidates from its virtual assignments will be asked to report for duty in person at secret locations around the UK to carry out investigations face-to-face in teams. 

As well as uncovering vital clues on the objectives and identities of the Flag Day Associates, these will determine the final line up of online defenders to take on the cyber terrorist group at the Masterclass final next year. 

"Astute Explorer is an ingenious game from GCHQ which will not only provide an enjoyable challenge but will test skills that are in high demand by employers in this sector," says Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge. 

"I would encourage anyone with an interest in how IT systems and the information they hold can be protected to sign up and give it a go." 

Find out more here