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Qufaro CyberEPQ Students face the Deloitte Crypto-Challenge

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It’s not often you get to see the Deloitte’s Cyber Intelligence Centre (CIC) in Reading, so this was an eagerly anticipated event with all the places being snapped up within an hour!

Congratulations to the participants from UTC Watford; Bournemouth Collegiate; MRUS, Beds; Ashford School; Tadcaster Grammar; Reigate Grammar; Shenley Brook End School, Bucks; St Philomena’s Catholic High School for Girls, Surrey; Grey Court School, London and Queen Anne’s School, Reading as well as the six CyberEPQ Alumni members who were quickest to their keyboards.

For CyberEPQ students that wish to attend in future, please join the Alumni group on LinkedIn for early notification!

For those that did get to attend, we were fortunate to speak with Amanda Scantlebury, the Cyber Security Operations Manager and Gijs Reusken, a Consultant, who specialises in the evolving data privacy landscape. It was great to hear how people from a non-technical background (history and law respectively) were able to carve a successful career in cyber. Diversity of knowledge, background, ethnicity, age and gender in the teams allows for greater success and is highly prized by Deloitte. For those looking to join, there are routes for both Graduates and non-Graduates into the CIC team.

Analysts, Cameron and Saj, explained the hands-on approach that their cyber training provided and how Deloitte invested in them and welcomed an inquisitive mind. Both explained how their broad training in different areas had given them greater insight into cyber and had helped them to develop their cyber passions.

Cornelia Calugar-Pop, Lead Technical Media and Telecommunications Predictions Researcher, gave a fascinating perspective and hints as to what we could expect from tech in the future including how 5G will allow the greater use of automated robots whilst picking and packing customers’ goods; how videos will be watched interchangeably from landscape to portrait as well as the availability of Video on Demand with the option of an ad free version. E-bikes could also be on the future horizon benefitting cities by greatly reducing traffic and pollution. A win-win.

Then …The Crypto Challenge! Designed and delivered by Alex Parsons, Senior Manager for Cyber Security for the Life Sciences and Healthcare. He set the scene of a fictitious company client that had been acting suspiciously. Our teams were given half an hour to use codebreaking skills to find out what had really been happening on the client’s open laptop. Each group anxiously searched for clues and broke codes to unlock the encrypted information.

Well done to Reigate school codebreakers (David Hamer, Maxim Chaston, Taewoong Kang, Harrison Barker and John Owen) for completing the challenge in just under 16 minutes (despite allegedly using some nefarious means ?!). They were then closely followed by Lea Button and Isobel Salmon from neighbouring Queen Anne’s School, Charlie Redpath of Tadcaster Grammar, James Duxbury from MRUS and Nick Openshaw, an Independent Student. I’m sure both groups enjoyed their boxes of chocolates!

Qufaro would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to our sponsors Deloitte, especially Partner Phil Everson, Androulla Karanicola, Amanda Scantlebury, Gijs Reusken, Sajawal Kiani, Cameron Maclean, Savannah Ashby, Hayley Jones and Alex Parsons and the rest of the Reading CIC team who gave up their time and made such an insightful and fascinating Cyber day.

For those of you who were unable to attend, we are planning a future event once exams are safely out of the way. We look forward to seeing you then. Join the CyberEPQ Alumni Group on LinkedIn so you don’t miss out!

To pre-register for 2020-2021 CyberEPQ, click here.

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