Bexhill student wins top cyber security competition

Ben Jackson with his award for winning Cyber Security Challenge UK's Masterclass competition SUS-160811-161458001
Ben Jackson with his award for winning Cyber Security Challenge UK's Masterclass competition SUS-160811-161458001

A Bexhill student is on course for a career fighting hackers after winning a prestigious national cyber security challenge.

Ben Jackson won Cyber Security Challenge UK’s Masterclass competition, which saw 42 amateurs investigate a data breach on a fictional company and fend off hackers over three days.

The 18-year-old can choose from a collection of career-enhancing prizes including industry training, university courses, the best new technologies and access to strategic industry events.

“It’s hard to put into words how I feel but I can say it’s a complete privilege to win such a well renowned competition,” he said.

“I’m frankly amazed that I’ve won. This has been a brilliant few days and a life changing experience, meeting some great people along the way.

“I hope to now go on pursue a career in cyber security, something which I really enjoy.”

The grand finale at a fake security operations centre set up in Shoreditch, London, was the culmination of a year’s worth of qualifying rounds.

The 42 finalists competed in front of experts from the cyber security industry, who assessed and ranked contestants’ performances against real job requirements.

The contestants spent three days investigating a suspected data breach while tackling hackers and simulated pressures before a presentation to the board to mimic a real-world situation.

Half of the candidates have gone on into jobs in the industry.

Cyber Security Challenge’s chief executive Stephanie Daman said: “There are huge number of cyber security jobs on offer, and simply not enough people to fill them.

“Competitions like these give talented individuals a safe environment to showcase their skills in front of organisations that are looking for new recruits.”

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