Cyber Security Challenge UK finals under way

There's a cyber-competition currently taking place in the UK, with the goal of finding the best cyber-security talent in the country.

The competition is currently in its final stage, which lasts two days. The Cyber Security Challenge UK had started on November 19, and the organisers describe it as the most realistic civilian cyber-security simulation ever staged.

A total of 42 contestants are competing. They are thrown into a cyber-threat simulation in which a cyber-terrorist group had kicked off a biological attack in London.

The contestants are required to use their skills and defend the Church House on the Grounds of Westminster Abbey from a London-based crisis centre. According to Computer Weekly, over the course of the competition, contestants have had to demonstrate real-life technical skills, while adhering to a strict legal framework closely based on UK government legislation.

Besides from using the competition to find the best talent, the Cyber Security Challenge UK will also try to attract more people into the world of cyber-security, where there is a global shortage of quality staff.

The urgency of this skills shortage was highlighted by chancellor George Osborne in a speech at GCHQ on 17 November 2015, in which he said the estimated global cyber security workforce shortage will widen to 1.5 million by 2020, according to a study by (ISC).

The latest Cyber Security Challenge UK final was developed by international defence firm QinetiQ and a consortium of the country’s elite cyber experts from organisations including the Bank of England, GCHQ, National Crime Agency, BT, Cisco, Falanx Group and Roke Manor Research.