in Security / Events

Schoolgirls aim for UK codebreaker crown

Posted 10 March 2020 · Add Comment

Cyber savvy schoolgirls from across the country are preparing to do battle next week in an attempt to be crowned the nation’s codebreaking champions at the CyberFirst Girls Competition 2020.


Courtesy NCSC


Ten teams of pupils saw off challengers at regional contests last month to reach the Grand Final of the 2020 CyberFirst Girls Competition, being held next Monday (16th March).

The contest, aimed at girls aged 12 and 13, will see the teams of up to four tackle a real-world scenario of protecting a global sporting event from cyber attacks over more than four hours of gameplay.

This is the fourth year the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – has run the CyberFirst Girls Competition and this year’s final will be hosted for the first time in Cardiff, Wales, ahead of the CYBERUK conference in Newport on May 19th-20th.

This year’s newly expanded competition saw a series of semi-finals run simultaneously at venues across the UK, to ensure all parts of the country were represented.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said: “It’s wonderful to see girls from across the UK coming together to put their problem-solving skills and technical expertise to the test. I wish all the finalists the best of luck in the Grand Final.

“No matter who wins this year, the CyberFirst Girls Competition will have hopefully inspired the thousands of girls who took part to pursue their interests in the field of cyber security.”

Loughborough High School, one of the schools to reach this year’s final, said: “We are always looking for ways to provide the girls with opportunities to enrich their education beyond the curriculum, to develop in them the confidence and skills necessary to become valued members of society.

“This competition has provided the girls with such an opportunity and a fascinating insight into the world of cyber security.”

Nearly 12,000 girls from 754 schools have taken part in the competition this year, allowing for even more cyber talent in the UK to be discovered.

The CyberFirst Girls Competition was launched with the aim of boosting interest in cyber security among females, who are currently under-represented in the industry. Women make up only 11% of the global workforce in the field and this scheme is pitched at pupils starting to think about what subject choices to make for their GCSE exams and beyond.

One of this year’s finalists, the team from the Tiffin Girls’ School in Surrey, was last month featured on BBC1’s The One Show, alongside David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed who were promoting ‘Intelligence’ their new comedy about GCHQ.

Since 2017, 37,000 girls have taken part in the scheme and of last year’s entrants 98% said they would like to learn more about cyber security. The competition is open to girls in Year 8 in England and Wales, S2 in Scotland and Year 9 in Northern Ireland.

The Grand Finalists for 2020 are:

  • Beverley High School, East Riding of Yorkshire
  • Greenwood Academy, North Ayrshire, Scotland
  • Herschel Grammar School, Berkshire
  • King Edward's School, Somerset
  • Loughborough High School, Leicestershire
  • Strathearn School, Belfast, Northern Ireland
  • Stretford Grammar School, Greater Manchester
  • The Castle School, Somerset
  • The Cathedral School, Cardiff, Wales
  • The Tiffin Girls' School, Surrey
     

 

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

PM to announce largest military investment in 30 years

The biggest programme of investment in British defence since the end of the Cold War will be announced today by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Security & Policing 2021 registration opens for online event

Visitor and exhibitor registration is now open for the official UK Government global security event Security & Policing 2021, set to take place as an online event between 9th-11th March 2021, offering the opportunity to meet,

IATA confirms Willie Walsh as new Director General and CEO

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced leadership changes approved by the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM), with former CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG) Willie Walsh, becoming IATA’s eighth

Serco wins Naval Business of the Year at the 2020 Australian Defence Industry Awards

Serco Australia is proud to be named Naval Business of the Year in this year’s Defence Connect Australian Defence Industry Awards.

Boeing and RAF mark 40 years of Chinooks flying in the UK

Last Sunday - 22nd November - marked 40 years since the Boeing-built Chinook was first delivered to the Royal Air Force (RAF).

IrvinGQ develops ATAX compatability with Milrem UGV

Bridgend based IrvinGQ has developed its ATAX Airdrop Platform to be compatible for use with the Milrem Robotics’ Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV), configured with the KONGSBERG Protector Remote Weapon Station (RWS).

Itel SK2710301120
See us at
RAF Museum BTSecurity & Policing 2021 BT3CDSE BT0210030221