International Cybersecurity Challenge: A global event to compete in cyber skills

Digital transformation in modern societies has the potential to deliver a range of benefits to citizens, organizations and governments. Yet technological advances can come with a trade-off as they give rise to an ever-increasing cyber threat landscape. Building a digitally secure society on a global scale is of paramount importance as cyberattacks are not confined to geographical boundaries and can have devastating consequences. According to a report by the World Economic Forum, the nature of cyberattacks has changed, aimed at disrupting business and damaging reputations. Nearly half of business leaders surveyed in the same study believe their organization will experience a cyberattack in the next two years, saying difficulties recruiting and retaining cybersecurity experts put their organizations at risk important.

Human resource challenges are further illustrated in a cybersecurity workforce study produced by ISC2, where around 3.4 million jobs remain unfilled globally. The report paints a dire picture as educational institutions increased the number of cybersecurity experts in 2022, but the gap in the cybersecurity workforce continues to grow rapidly. The European Commission, responding to market needs for cybersecurity professionals, has announced an initiative to establish a Cybersecurity Skills Academy in 2023. The Academy will identify needed cybersecurity skills and provide training for individuals who wish to pursue a relevant career. Capture the Flag (CTF) events are a great way to enhance essential skills for a cybersecurity career and have the potential to underpin a Cyber ​​Skills Academy. CTFs gamify certain aspects of cybersecurity knowledge to make it appealing to younger age groups and educate people on how to stay safe online.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) is a major player in ENISA and has been at the forefront of cybersecurity capacity building in EU Member States by organizing various exercises and challenges for a wide range of stakeholders. Since 2016, ENISA coordinates the European Cybersecurity Challenge (ECSC) to encourage young people to pursue a career in cybersecurity. Over the past 6 years, the ECSC has attracted the interest of all European Member States, promoted national CTFs and given the opportunity to thousands of people to improve their cybersecurity skills.

ENISA hosted the first ICC event in Greece from 14 to 17 June 2022, where seven regional teams represented more than 40 countries
ENISA hosted the first ICC event in Greece from 14 to 17 June 2022, where seven regional teams represented more than 40 countries

Building on the success of ECSC and ENISA as well as several regional and international organizations, it was decided to design and host the International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) for the first time. ICC’s goal is to attract young talent and raise awareness in the global community about necessary cybersecurity education and skills. By pioneering the design of an international challenge, we believe that the ICC brand will be associated with the world’s best cybersecurity talent and also anticipate that ICC will become one of the leading cybersecurity entrepreneurship incubators and future best security experts.

ENISA hosted the first ICC event in Greece from June 14-17, 2022, where seven regional teams consisting of fifteen players each and representing more than 40 countries participated in the “Jeopardy” and “Attack & Defence” challenges. To decide the final players who traveled to Athens, countries belonging to the same geographical regions came together to create preliminary regional CTFs. More than 4,000 people from 64 nations participated in these events. In some cases, ICC enabled countries to host a national CTF for the first time and additionally offered all actors the opportunity to improve their skills by providing training platforms and materials over a period of six months. . As ICC requires players to compete in a wide range of challenges ranging from forensics, reverse engineering, web mining, cryptography and binary mining to attack and defense, to escape rooms and hardware, ICC participants cover the necessary skills and knowledge required for more than 50% of the cybersecurity occupations listed in the European Cybersecurity Competency Framework. The next ICC event is being held in San Diego, USA from July 31 to August 4, 2023. Regional CTFs are underway, with increased participation from all regions and the possibility of hosting more teams.

India Cyber ​​Games (ICG) is part of the International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) initiative.

The mission of India Cyber ​​Games (ICG) is to bring together talented cyber security athletes, coaches, universities and corporate sponsors to form an elite Indian Cyber ​​​​Team (ICT) for the annual International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) and other events.

Dr Ioannis Agrafiotis, Capacity Building Manager, ENISA – European Union Agency for Cybersecurity
Mr. Nimitt Jhaveri Chairman – India Cyber ​​Games Initiative
One click to join the ICG community

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