A postman beat off competition from thousands of hopefuls to be crowned the UK’s first Cyber Security Champion.
Dan Summers from Wakefield took the top prize at the Cyber Security Challenge Awards, which was designed to find the country’s best computer defence amateur.
Candidates had to prove their technical skills by dealing with simulated data security breaches which can threaten national security and the economy.
Summers said it “was the most intense and rewarding experience of my life” and that he was seriously considering a change of career into cyber security.
He walked away with prizes including cyber security training, society memberships and exam fees worth more than £37,000.
The competition was designed to highlight the importance of plugging the skills gap in cyber security, with hacking and cyber attacks named the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) as a Tier One threat to Britain, to be treated as seriously as terrorism and overseas conflict.
Andrzej Kawalec, CTO of HP Information Security, said: “Information and technology is now so pervasive across our lives and underpins the social, political and financial fabric of modern society.
“We need to continually develop our capability and understanding of the cyber threat.”
The Cyber Security Challenge organisers have also announced a programme for next year’s challenge, which Security Minister Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones confirmed would be backed by continuing sponsorship from the Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA) and a £180,000 grant from the government’s National Cyber Security Programme.
Baroness Neville-Jones said: “The Cyber Security Challenge is a superb example of the genuine partnership between government, academia and the private sector that needs to be built if we are going to achieve the larger and more highly-skilled cyber workforce we need.”
For more information about the Cyber Security Challenge visit www.cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk