Victoria students compete at New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge

02 Aug 2017 - 08:18:44 in Event

L-R: Liam Dennis, Jack Moran and Tom Clark

Three students from Victoria’s School of Engineering and Computer Science recently travelled to Hamilton to compete in the 2017 New Zealand Cyber Security Challenge.

The challenge saw 150 top students from around the country invited to compete in three stages—hacking into programs, grappling with policy-based problems, and securing at risk systems.

Third-year Software Engineering student, Liam Dennis, says the event was a valuable opportunity to gain some hands-on training.

“Cyber Security is a fascinating topic, and being part of a team and working together to solve problems and crack codes was rewarding and satisfying, especially in the moments when our toil proved fruitful and we completed a stage.”

Also competing at the event were Network Engineering students, Jack Moran and Tom Clark, who both plan to work in the Cyber Security industry after graduating.

Tom says, “The whole event was great, but the last round of war games with 5 teams defending their systems against industry testers was awesome to see. It’s definitely an industry I want to be in. I'm aiming to do ‘Red Teaming’, and even create new security products to help secure private and public systems.”

Jack adds, “What we’ve learnt at Victoria, about networks, security, and programming languages gave us the skills we needed to compete in the challenges. Cyber Security is a really interesting area; one of my passions is finding flaws in the technology we rely on every day and demonstrating the potential that they have to damage our infrastructure.”

Head of School, Dr Stuart Marshall, says Cyber Security is an area of rapidly increasing interest and potential for students.

“Recent reports have estimated a shortfall of more than a million trained cyber security experts in the coming years. That’s a significant challenge for the world as we become more connected and the internet of things becomes ever more present there is a need to protect those systems, and that information.

“We teach Cyber Security throughout our degrees, and we’re looking at ways to increase that further to ensure that our students are well placed to take up those opportunities when they graduate.”

The event had high-profile guests, including Andrew Hampton, Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau, who spoke to the students about the rising demand for students with cyber security skills, and representatives from Interpol, the world’s largest international police organisation with 190 member countries.