Cyber talent to be recruited in virtual skyscraper

A virtual skyscraper designed to discover cyber talent has been launched.

Users navigate ‘Cyphinx’ through a 3D landscape representing a skyscraper (pictured) which is host to recruitment opportunities in addition to games, competitions and ciphers.

The new platform has been launched by Cyber Security Challenge UK and is backed by the Cabinet Office and a host of private and public sector sponsors.

The first collection of games uses Minecraft to test computer skills in order to find talent as young as 12 years old.

Traditional recruitment methods for jobs in cyber security have proved ineffective with a growing skill gap in the sector becoming apparent.

A recent survey found the UK was suffering from a shortage of technology talent that was threatening productivity growth and economic expansion.

The creators want Cyphinx to become the main gateway to hiring in the sector and they say employers will be able to use the platform to find and test potential candidates.

Candidates are able to create an avatar and enter the building, interact with other candidates and engage with potential employers in the 3D virtual world.

As they progress through the games, players’ scores are entered on to leader boards for cyber security related disciplines such as risk analysis, forensic analysis, network defense and ethics which can be seen by others on a digital CV.

The creators used industry professionals from within its sponsorship network to create the games that blend traditional cyber security ciphers, code-breaking puzzles with contemporary gaming ideas.

Stephanie Daman, Cyber Security Challenge chief executive said: “Amidst the chronic shortage of cyber professionals, there is a wealth of talent which is still untapped. Over the last six years we have made it our mission to find these individuals, using the best, most innovative methods. This is the next logical step to inspire an audience who may not yet even know that cyber is the career for them.”

Culture minister Ed Vaizey said: "The UK has a thriving digital economy so there's a huge demand for people to join the cyber security profession and help protect our businesses. Government is committed to encouraging young people to consider cyber security as a career and this new 'virtual world', developed by the Cyber Security Challenge, will help ensure the UK develops the cyber experts of the future.”

The new platform is supported by major companies in the sector including SANS Institute, BT, Skyscape Cloud Services, GCHQ, QinetiQ, Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, Airbus, National Crime Agency, Raytheon and the Bank of England.

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