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Tuesday, 26 June 2018 11:35

Australia launches cyber defence competition for high schools

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Australia launches cyber defence competition for high schools Pixabay

Australia has launched its first cyber defence competition for high-school students in order to promote cyber security skills.

Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor launched the program, known as CyberTaipan, at the US embassy in Canberra on Monday.

A statement said the embassy, the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber) and US defence contractor Northrop Grumman are jointly delivering the program.

Taylor said: “Cyber security touches every sector and underpins our ability to use critical services and do everyday things, such as shopping, banking, paying our bills, and communicating with our families.

“We know there will be a national shortfall of at least 11,000 cyber security workers over the next decade, which is one of the key challenges to growth in this sector.

cyber taipan

US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires James Carouso, AustCyber chief executive Michelle Price, students and Graham Cassells from Lake Tuggeranong College, with Angus Taylor.

“CyberTaipan will provide Australian students in years 7-12 with the practical means to build, demonstrate and validate cyber security skills, all in a fun, gamified environment.”

The statement said the name CyberTaipan was chosen after a survey of Australian high school students; other national teams are CyberPatriot (US), CyberCenturion (UK), CyberTitan (Canada) and CyberArabia. CyberTaipan is modelled on the US Air Force Association’s CyberPatriot program.

The ACT and Victoria will hold the first competition in 2018-19 and registration is now open nationally for schools, community groups, technical mentors and coaches to get involved.

AustCyber chief executive Michelle Price said that all sectors of the Australian economy needed to focus on building future capabilities in cyber security, and that she was looking for partners to support the delivery of the program.

“The estimated shortfall in skilled workers will impact everyone across our economy, including governments, large and small private sector businesses, our academic institutes and, ultimately, our population,” said Price.

“AustCyber is pleased to have the support of Northrop Grumman to deliver CyberTaipan in Australia, but we need more organisations on board to assist with prizes, sponsorship, venues and more. This will ensure we get a truly national reach and collectively build the cyber talent of tomorrow.”

AustCyber has invited teams, coaches and technical mentors to compete in the inaugural CyberTaipan competition pilot in 2018-19.

Photo: courtesy Ministry of Law Enforcement and Cyber Security


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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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