Careers in cybersecurity are highly profitable, but nevertheless it is very difficult for starters to find their way into this complex business. This results in a lack of experts across the world, which could put many businesses at risk of falling prey to cybercriminals or cyber-espionage.
This is why Kaspersky Lab has launched Talent Lab, an international competition for university students and young professionals aged 18-30. The programme aims at solving topical cybersecurity challenges with competitors’ technical and creative talents. Ultimately, the programme aims to fund the winner’s education, or send them to the most acclaimed global industry events – such as the Cannes Lions and the Security Analyst Summit (SAS).
The competition will identify three winners: the winner of the ‘top talent’ prize will receive a $10,000 grant for further education; the ‘security talent’ winner will be invited to SAS 2017, with all expenses covered by Kaspersky Lab; and ‘the creativity talent’ winner will get the chance to participate at the Cannes Lions 2017 with an academy pass and travel tickets covered by Kaspersky Lab.
All of the 50 finalists will get additional prizes and souvenirs from Kaspersky Lab and Talent Lab’s partners, professional coaching from experts, and long-term career opportunities.
“For me, security has always been the most interesting aspect of computer science. No matter what I was doing, security would come out on top as one of the main issues to care about,” says Ryan Naraine, head of Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team in North America. “But routes into this profession are often very difficult and many of our top researchers have no formal security education, but got here mainly because they were driven by their curiosity.
“With this contest, we want to spark the curiosity of as many people as possible, and show how many different ways there are to get into the cybersecurity industry. We want to demonstrate that security is fascinating – because the world needs more highly skilled people in IT security.”
Online submissions are now open at academy.kaspersky.com/talentlab for applicants from all countries and entries will remain open until 15 November 2016. The programme will include an online evaluation period, between 15 and 30 November, with finalists being announced on 1 December.
The top 50 most successful participants will be entered into the final, which will take place in Prague (Czech Republic) in February 2017, when they will have the opportunity to present their projects and compete for the main prizes.
The technical judging criteria of Talent Lab includes practical tasks in areas such as anti-malware research, cybersecurity solutions development, mobile security, cyber physical systems, Internet of Things, kids’ online security and security awareness.
Non-technical assessments require participants to work on challenges in consumer marketing, web content analysis, conceptual design and edutainment. All areas will be mentored by Kaspersky Lab’s experts. Talent Lab welcomes individual participants as well as teams.