Cyber savvy girls from Beverley High School are preparing to take on the best teams from the rest of the UK in an attempt to be crowned the nation’s codebreaking champions.
The pupils, aged 12 and 13, saw off challengers from northern England last month to reach the CyberFirst Girls Competition final. They will now take on the nine best teams from the rest of the UK.
The final, to be held on 16 March. It will see them tackle a real-world scenario of protecting a global sporting event from cyber attacks.
This is the fourth year the National Cyber Security Centre – a part of GCHQ – has run the CyberFirst Girls Competition. The Grand Final will be hosted for the first time in Cardiff, Wales.
This year’s newly expanded competition saw a series of semi-finals run simultaneously at venues across the UK. 10 winners from these heats went through to Monday’s final.
In the final, the teams of up to four girls will take part in more than four hours of gameplay. They will face a number of challenges and attempt to ensure the cybersecurity of a major sporting event.
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said;
“It’s wonderful to see girls from across the UK coming together to put their problem-solving skills and also technical expertise to the test. I wish all the finalists the best of luck in the Grand Final.
“No matter who wins this year, the CyberFirst Girls Competition will have hopefully inspired the thousands of girls who took part to pursue their interests in the field of cybersecurity.”
CyberFirst Girls Competition Aimed At Encourranging More Females Into Industry
Nearly 12,000 girls from 754 schools have taken part in the competition this year. As a result of this, it is hoped even more cyber talent in the UK can be discovered.
The CyberFirst Girls Competition was launched with the aim of boosting interest in cybersecurity among females. Currently, females are under-represented in the industry.
Women make up only 11% of the global workforce in the field and this scheme is pitched at pupils starting to think about what subject choices to make for their GCSE exams and beyond.
One of this year’s finalists, the team from the Tiffin Girls’ School in Surrey. Last month they featured on BBC1’s The One Show, alongside David Schwimmer and Nick Mohammed.
Since 2017, 37,000 girls have taken part in the scheme. Of last year’s entrants, 98% said they would like to learn more about cybersecurity. The competition is open to girls in Year 8 in England and Wales, S2 in Scotland and Year 9 in Northern Ireland.
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