27 February 2020, LONDON: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announces that 60 young finalists competed in London Feb 26 to earn the title of this year’s UK national CyberCenturion VI champions. Highway to HAL won the Senior team category and an all-expenses paid trip to Northrop Grumman in the USA, and Sandbach CCF won the junior category.

Two thousand players registered for CyberCenturion VI and teams have completed a series of real-life cyber defence tasks on the theme of industry 4.0 in qualifying rounds since September 2019. Team members have developed technical abilities as well as professional skills such as teamwork, problem solving, communication and perseverance that employers value.

“As we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, the fourth industrial revolution is driving interconnectivity, automation and artificial intelligence in our everyday lives. Knowing how to secure personal information on home computers and mobiles to defending critical national infrastructure against attack is vital,” explains Nick Chaffey, Chief Executive, Northrop Grumman UK & Europe.

Teams compete in two age groups: 12-15 and 15-18 years, and four categories: all female, all male, mixed and cadet. Top scoring teams from each group and the overall standout top scorers have been invited to the live final.

Nick continues “Thanks to competitions like CyberCenturion in the UK, the next generation are learning skills for the future and being inspired to pursue rewarding careers in cyber security. Northrop Grumman drives this global STEM education programme in the UK, USA, Australia and Middle East to build the pipeline of future cyber talent. It is an unrivalled opportunity for young people to learn key cyber skills and engage with industry and cyber professionals.

“For most CyberCenturions, the competition is their first real-world experience of cyber security. For hundreds of past competitors, it was also their first step towards a career in the industry,” adds Dr Robert Nowill, Chairman, Cyber Security Challenge UK.

“We’ve now run the competition in the UK for six years, growing from just 50 players in our first year to around 2,000 registrations for CyberCenturion VI. It’s been an absolute pleasure to see so many young people go on to start valuable and rewarding careers in the sector. There is a huge shortage of cyber talent in the UK, so competitions like CyberCenturion are a crucial means of bridging the skills gap. Through initiatives like CyberCenturion, we’ve introduced more than 8,000 young people to the challenges and rewards of cyber security, broadening the reach of the industry and opening it up to those who may not otherwise be exposed to such valuable extra-curricular experiences.”

Matthew Dawson, CyberCenturion competitor: “CyberCenturion has had a massive impact on my life. I was lucky to play alongside some highly skilled and dedicated teammates, and our hard work paid off as we won CyberCenturion IV in 2018 and were rewarded with a visit to the United States! The competition helped cement my ambition of having a career in cyber, as well as enabling me to stand out from the crowd and secure an offer at the University of Birmingham on a degree apprenticeship. The confidence and experience it gave me helped me continue to develop my skill set, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”

Northrop Grumman solves the toughest problems in space, aeronautics, defense and cyberspace to meet the ever evolving needs of our customers worldwide. Our 85,000 employees define possible every day using science, technology and engineering to create and deliver advanced systems, products and services.