A postman from Wakefield has won the government-backed UK Cyber Security Challenge, which was aimed at discovering IT talent to help strengthen and manage the country's cyber security infrastructure.
Dan Summers, a postman with a background in IT, was named the first ever Cyber Security Champion at an awards ceremony held in Bristol over the weekend. At the presentation by UK Security Minister Baroness Neville-Jones, as well as recognition for his talent, Summers received government and industry certifications and prizes worth £6,000.
The competition involved investigating data breaches and battling hackers in simulations of typical cyber attacks that endanger crucial private and public sector systems.
Summers, who beat 25 other finalists from 4000 contestants to win the challenge, said that he had fun during the contest but never expected to win. Though working as a postman he was persuaded to enter by relatives who encouraged him, "you're a geek, you should enter!"
“Having met the people in the industry and seeing how capable and welcoming they are, I’d love to work alongside them, so I’ll be looking closely at all the opportunities that have developed as a result of my involvement with the challenge,” he said in a statement.
The Cyber Security Challenge was initiated last year after reports of looming threats to the UK's online infrastructure. The challenge aimed to find and train individuals who would help the industry and the government strengthen their cyber security.
The contest's runner-up, 17 year-old schoolboy Stuart Rennie, was also awarded certifications and prizes at the ceremony.