UK gov't launches hackathon for next-gen cybersecurity specialists

The UK government is bringing together 50 university students to tackle cybersecurity issues.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The UK government is launching a hackathon to bring together the next generation of cybersecurity specialists to explore today's security issues.

Announced on Thursday, the three-day hackathon is designed to bring together 50 students to "work together on ideas designed to tackle the cybersecurity issues facing businesses and critical infrastructure providers." The participants, plucked from 13 UK universities labeled as "Academic Centres of Excellence in cybersecurity research," will be given hands-on training, tutorials and advice throughout the event.

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The Accelerator Network, of whose partners include Dell and SoftLayer, is working with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to launch the event. Taking place in June this year, the students will work on commercial applications which solve modern security problems businesses and organizations now face. The hackathon will finish with a pitch event where solutions designed by the students will be presented to businesses, government officials and industry leaders.

Ed Vaizey, Minister for the Digital Economy said:

"Protecting and promoting the UK's digital economy is a key part of the Government's long-term economic plan, so it's crucial we have the skills to do this now and in the future.
I'm pleased that the Department for Business is supporting the Agile Innovation hackathon, which will be a fantastic way of developing new talent and ensuring Government and industry can tackle the cyber security challenges of the future."

Cyberthreats are in a constant state of evolution, and therefore both businesses and government bodies must keep up -- and begin training more specialists to keep networks safe in the future.

Over 2015, FireEye believes we are likely to see an increase in mobile malware, ransomware and point-of-sale (PoS) attacks.

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