A curious mind - CYSCA 2018

Australia’s flagship national cyber security challenge wrapped up in Melbourne yesterday after a record number of Australian tertiary students battled to reverse real-world cyber threats around Australia.

Defending champion the University of New South Wales was victorious again, taking first and second place, with Monash University coming third. For the first time ever, eight teams competed live in Melbourne including two women’s teams from RMIT and the Box Hill Institute.

Lynn Moore, head of Engagement, Operations and Intelligence at the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) pressed the finish button and praised everyone for their support and enthusiasm for cyber security in the competition’s sixth year.

‘This is an event to encourage our young people to really get involved in cyber security. Seeing this event in its infancy when it first started (in 2012) and seeing it now, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come.’

‘It is only possible through all the support that’s provided through this partnership. And it really is a public private partnership and you’ve all done an amazing job to come in and collaborate in a way that’s just fantastic.’ Ms Moore said.

Berin Lautenbach, Telstra’s Chief Information and Security Officer, described the event as much more than a technical challenge. ‘It captures hearts and minds and encourages that curious mindset,’ which he sees as the greatest asset for aspiring cyber security gurus.

‘Not everyone is going to come out of this and go into cyber as a career,’ Mr Lautenbach added. ‘They’ll go into other things, but they’ll go into other things with cyber awareness.’

‘People keep asking me what is actually important in a cyber security person. It’s not technology skillsets. It’s not “I know all about…”. It’s a particular way of thinking. And that’s what this challenge actually brings out in people,’ he said.

‘Students will look back at this in years to come and go “that was important”‘, Mr Lautenbach said, describing CySCA as an experience that will stay them throughout their career.

CySCA is Australia’s only national cyber security competition for tertiary students, and is run by the ACSC in conjunction with industry and academic partners.

Job offers from the competition’s sponsors are in the prize pool, as well as travel to leading cyber events including DEFCON 2019 in Las Vegas.

The Minister for Home Affairs will present this year’s winners with their awards at the ACSC in Canberra later this year.