The annual opportunity for all IT-interested out-of-the-box thinkers: The Austrian Cyber Security Challenge will enter its tenth round on 3 May 2021.
After a year of a pandemic with restrictions, home office and distance learning, it becomes clear how crucial information technologies are in our lives: We can hardly do without them. “Cybersecurity still has a lot of catching up to do,” says security evangelist Joe Pichlmayr, who founded the hacker competition in 2012 with the CSA association: “Cybercrime has developed into a highly organised industry. Malicious code can be downloaded ready-made. Attacks as a service make it possible to launch campaigns without any IT knowledge. Accordingly, the mass of professional threats, which used to be faced by selected targets only, is increasing and now also hit companies and private individuals – while in the background, specialists are already working on new malicious codes and zero-day exploits.”
IT security as a school subject?
There is a lack of comparable structures for IT security to impart knowledge in a low-threshold manner and to discover and promote talent. The Cyber Security Challenge wants to close this gap by drawing attention to the topic and its relevance. “IT in general and IT security, in particular, must become part of general education,” demands Joe Pichlmayr:
„Everyone who uses an Internet-capable device should know its functions, possibilities and risks – and this now begins in primary school. IT security belongs on the curriculum, also to protect our children!“
At present, IT knowledge and IT talents are mainly created at home – among children and young people who have the appropriate opportunities, equipment and support at home. Joe Pichlmayr would like to see a broad promotion of all children, similar to the structures in top-class sports: “Everyone should learn the basics and have the opportunity to get a deeper insight. Those who show interest and talent will be promoted. In this way, Austria can also reach the top of the world in IT security – just like in skiing!“
Challenge accepted: participate and network
The annual Cyber Security Challenge brings together like-minded people – new talents, career changers, professionals, employers and potential mentors. Winning is not everything: The top 25 of the junior or senior competition of the Challenge are invited to the Center of Excellence, where they are further promoted and supported in their interests.
The classic competition is aimed at pupils and students from the age of 14. The open class of the Austrian National Championship is available to all interested parties. In the Starter Challenge Level 1, anyone can take part without prior knowledge and get a taste of the subject – whether for further personal education, for school and company competitions or simply for fun. The schools with the most solved puzzles are awarded prizes!
Register now: https://verbotengut.at/anmeldung/