Competition challenges 14-19-year-olds to battle one another and develop the next generation of skilled Security Operations Centre Analysts.

27 November 2020: Immersive Labs, Fujitsu and University Technical Colleges from around the UK will today run a competition to find and develop the next generation of Security Operations Centre Analyst.  The 14-19-year-old students will compete with one-another through Immersive Labs’ online gamified skills platform, to complete challenges related to topics such as threat hunting, vulnerability identification and understanding incident response.     

The two-hour competition, to be held on 27 November, is part of an initiative by the three organizations to help develop the UK’s human cyber capability.  Designed to arm the next generation of cyber talent with practical skills, it will focus on developing specific capabilities required to become a Tier 1 SOC analyst, a common entry point into the industry.  

25 UTCs will take part from all around the UK, with students being scored against each other individually, as well each college being given a combined result.  Points will be awarded for the number of challenges completed effectively.

By leveraging Immersive Labs’ data-based approach, which focusses on identifying the user’s ability to address relevant problems, the competition will also innately encourage diversity.  Eliminating unconscious bias in this way helps create the flow of different perspectives into the industry crucial to understanding a varied set of attackers.   

James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs, said, “In a gloomy global economy, even the most technically talented students face headwinds when it comes to finding employment.

“We believe this, and many of the other barriers to entry in the cybersecurity market, can be overcome by equipping people with relevant on-the-ground capabilities matched directly to the threat landscape. Nowhere is this truer than with front-line SOC analysts, which is why we believe this partnership with Fujitsu and UTC is such a valuable initiative.

Mike Smit, Head of Enterprise Cyber Security, UKI, at Fujitsu, said, “We’re proud to be a part of this initiative to challenge and inspire young minds, from all backgrounds, in the field of cybersecurity.  This type of challenge is the key to developing new talent that will lead the way in protecting our nation from the ever-evolving risk of cyber-attacks. It also gives student a real taster for what it might be like to work in this fast, evolving and challenging area of technology.”

Mike Halliday, senior advisor for Baker Dearing Trust and founder of the UTC Cyber Group added:

“The national UTC cyber movement has evolved rapidly over the last two years, which is due to the commitment and enthusiasm of our partners in industry. This event signifies the next step in our evolution, towards a single community of students that will become the next generation of cyber talent.”

More information on how University Technical Colleges are helping to bridge the cyber skills gap, while providing opportunities for students, can be found here.

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November 27, 2020


Immersive Labs