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Three Gibraltar teams to compete in CyberCenturion final

Archive image of teams from Gibraltar during a CyberCenturion competition. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Three teams of local students have secured their places in the final of the CyberCenturion cyber security challenge.

The initiative was launched in Gibraltar by Bayside School Head of Physics Stewart Harrison, and in the years since his teams have scooped spots on six of the seven finals.

The qualifying rounds have been held virtually in Gibraltar due to Covid-19 with the virtual final on April 29.

The Gibraltar teams include two teams aged over 14 and one under 14.

Mr Harrison said he couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of his students.

“Take nothing away from our young learners, they have outdone themselves through the most testing and chaotic times in their educational journey,” Mr Harrison said.

He added: “It’s not about winning, it’s about perseverance, grit and determination. Skills you cannot learn from a textbook, but through experience.”

Mr Harrison also thanked Lluis Mora and Richard Fadul for their time and dedication in coaching the children.

The virtual final will see six finalist teams compete for an all-expenses paid trip to the US Northrop Grumman facility, including money-can’t-buy-experiences such as a visit to the Pentagon and the NASA space research facility.

Sponsored by American global aerospace and defence technology company Northrop Grumman, the programme aims to provide a stepping stone for students and is increasingly well-recognised by employers, with online qualifying rounds to test technical ability, and the opportunity to network with inspiring professionals in the industry.

CyberCenturion VII is a competition open to students aged 12-18 in the UK and British Overseas Territories, giving secondary school pupils the opportunity to develop their cyber security skills and put them to the test via a series of technical/network challenges.

“We're conscious that the past year has been tough for students, with the restrictions on their ability to attend school, engage in team events and build their skills,” Chief Executive of Northrop Grumman [UK, Europe and Middle East], Nick Chaffey said.

“We are very proud to support and lift their cyber security and computer skills using CyberCenturion as a vehicle to achieve this. The cyber security sector is one that is bucking the trend of the economy. There is huge growth and continued demand for skills in this area and so it presents a huge opportunity for students to build skills and carve out future careers.”

CyberCenturion has been running for seven years.

This year’s competition programme represents an ongoing collaborative effort from sponsor organisation Northrop Grumman and delivery partner Cyber Security Challenge UK to engage a rich and more diverse pool of future talent with opportunities in STEM and cyber security, driven by a shared mission to contribute towards closing the global cyber skills gap.

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