As one of the world’s largest business advisory firms, KPMG is deeply involved in developing the cyber talent required to defend today’s heavily targeted organizations. For this reason, and as part of its established Cyber CHallenge, KPMG New Zealand team approached us to collaborate on a program aimed at testing and evolving the country’s home-grown talent.
Our solution was a week-long online competition hosted on the Immersive Labs platform. This was designed to exercise the skills of the NZ infosecurity community and included everyone from students to end-users in large organizations.
At the end of June 400 people from 169 NZ organizations pitted their skills against each other through their browsers on 750-plus knowledge based capture-the-flag style challenges. These challenges were designed to make skills development fun and covered everything from threat intelligence and reverse engineering to vulnerability exploitation and recent Black Hat topics.
To keep things interesting, a leaderboard was maintained in real time throughout.
Phillip Whitmore, KPMG’s cybersecurity practice leader in New Zealand, said, “It was great to see the level of enthusiasm involved and the feedback has been very positive. We’re already being asked by participants if they can sign up to next year’s competition.
“We are facing a shortage of people with cybersecurity skills in New Zealand, and that’s hampering organizations’ digital transformation journeys. The more we can do to develop people’s skills – both those already in the workforce and those about to enter the workforce – the better.
“New Zealand is seen as a soft target and we’re increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals. We need to ensure our workforce is up to speed and continuing to develop skills. And that’s not just IT staff but staff throughout our organizations – from the boards down.”
Congratulations to the prizewinners Voy Ivancevic and Matthew Dockerty, who between them completed a massive 1,000 challenges throughout the week. We salute you!