Supporting the Best and Brightest Amateur Cybersecurity Talent

Mar 12, 2015
2 minutes

By some measures, cybersecurity can be like playing the ultimate multi-level pinball: sweat runs down your brow as you fend off one attack after the other, trying to not let anything through.

Unfortunately, testing cybersecurity chops isn't as simple as pumping a fistful of change through your favourite machine down at the arcade. For the unlucky few the only true test is carried out live and without notice, with money, reputations, or even lives at stake.

Which is why initiatives like this week’s Cyber Security Challenge are so important to our industry. Palo Alto Networks, in partnership with BT, is proud to support and help design this year's final – also known as the Masterclass – in which 42 of the United Kingdom’s brightest up-and-coming industry talent will have their mettle tested in a live cybersecurity exercise.

cyber security challenge

Starting today, the 48-hour final is the culmination of more than 10 months of qualifying rounds from the Cyber Security Challenge UK. Thousands of participants are now just a few dozen of the UK’s most talented amateur cyber defenders.

Our collaboration with BT on this initiative highlights our partnership in the UK, whereby our full next-generation Enterprise Security Platform is available to BT customers.

In today’s scenario, participants will compete aboard the HMS Belfast to take back control of gun systems that have been taken over by a fictitious cyber terrorist group, and pointed at London’s City Hall. Our amateur cyber defenders have two days to identify how the group broke into a simulated network, and regain control by exploiting accurate vulnerabilities placed there by the scenario designers. They will also need to search for similar gaps in other vital city systems to ensure they’re not exploited by the group.

The Masterclass highlights the need to talk about cybersecurity in terms of both detection and prevention, because ultimately the best risk mitigation is a talent pool of experts backed by an integrated system which allows them to see and manage threats at every point in the network.

We’re excited to help identify the best and brightest, and look forward to welcoming them into the industry as we’re certain they’ll do great things once they emerge from the arena.

If you’d like to participate in next year’s challenge, registration opens on Monday, 16 March via

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