Congratulations Cyber Security Challenge UK! On behalf of the whole team, we are delighted to have collected the award for Not-For-Profit Team of the Year 2021 at the Cyber Security Awards that took place on Thursday 9 December 2021. This award recognises two outstanding programmes of work delivered since summer 2020: our work with the National Crime Agency to launch and sustain the success of CyberLand, and our partnership with Northrop Grumman and the Air Force Association to deliver CyberCenturion VII.

It also recognises an incredible collaborative team effort, our shared fantastic work ethic across our geographically dispersed team, and how we really do thrive under pressure especially when we’ve got a creative challenge to solve.

Despite global disruption caused by Covid19 and a significantly reduced operating budget, we’ve succeeded in achieving greater impact than ever before. Our educational suite of games are now home to a community of nearly 100,000 users across the world. Our footprint has expanded to become more accessible and inclusive than ever, in particular through the 100% virtual delivery of CyberCenturion VII – the first time in history the National Finals event has taken place online.

Through these two projects alone, students across the UK and beyond have been empowered to enrich their experience of multiple lockdowns while forced to sacrifice the nurturing benefits of the classroom. Active participation at virtual industry events including Cyber Pathways, SASIG Skills Festival, and Cyber Security EXPO plus deepening of partnerships with The Cyber Trust and Gibraltar Digital Skills Foundation/Academy mean we can report strong growth against our targets to deliver career advice and digital skills information, reaching the lives of many.

Ways in which the team has helped the company succeed

Since launching in 2010, Cyber Security Challenge UK has become a globally recognised name with a globally recognised mission, and that’s all down to the raw, unrelenting passion contributed to the cause by the entire team past and present over the years.

We’re a small team of self-starters and industry influencers with fighting spirit and together, possess a strong and broad skill set that enables us to successfully sustain a business, taking care of everything from our commercial pipeline, finance, GDPR, the security of our IT systems and products, marketing and PR. We consider every organisation we engage with as a partner of Cyber Security Challenge UK, and it’s also thanks to a large community of enthusiastic volunteers that we continue to thrive and innovate despite turbulent market conditions.

Demonstrating outstanding commitment to our mission to connect fresh talent with opportunities in cyber security, our lockdown experience put years of practice of operating remotely to the test, and enabled us to impart expertise and know-how to ensure the success of projects that became 100% virtual during this time. Others have taken confidence and inspiration from our team, reassured by our proven ability to operate and succeed in a dispersed way. The team has revealed it’s fundamental and unrelenting enthusiasm to shine whatever the circumstances, going above and beyond to ensure young people, and other cyber-starters or mid-career changers did not miss out on opportunities to participate in competitions and learning programmes critical to their future success, and reaching out to industry to insist and ensure that our support never waned despite the odds since the start of 2020.

We have worked to rapidly expand and diversify our portfolio to include new activities and competitions aligned to our mission to encourage fresh and diverse talent into the cyber security pipeline. Cyber Attack! is an immersive training experience targeting corporate audiences, university undergraduates and career changers, and gained endorsement from BAE Systems and the Open University in 2021 to fast-track our go-to-market strategy – another key example of how our impact continues to become more widespread to influence lives in a positive way. Cyber Challenge in a Box is an experiential learning package for students designed to inspire young people to pursue STEM subjects at KS2 and KS3, and has now evolved into a Train the Trainer offering with limitless potential to up skill society, attract more minds to the industry, and crucially, enable more students to access this type of learning by driving down the cost of delivery.

Thanks to the team’s determination and persistence to succeed in securing sponsorship to bring CyberLand to market, we’re delighted that NCA funding will continue until spring 2022 to further grow this user community and that education bodies have supported the introduction of CyberLand and the full suite available at into remote/virtual schooling, delivering practical learning experiences, exposing young generations to the opportunities in STEM and cyber security, and encouraging ethical and security-conscious online.

Warm congratulations to everyone who was shortlisted at the awards and to the many other deserving winners. Check out the full list here.