Student wins prestigious cyber security award and trip to NASA
- Credit: Anahitha Vijay
A student from Potters Bar has won a prestigious cyber security award, earning herself an all-expenses paid trip to the USA.
Anahitha Vijay and her team won the CyberCenturion National Finals, with the prize including an all-expenses paid trip to the USA with aerospace company Northrop Grumman, visits to the Pentagon and the NASA space research facility.
The competition asked participants to address simulated cyber security risks targeting advanced and highly sensitive systems in the space industry, identifying potential vulnerabilities in the engineering IT infrastructure of fictional company 'New Gen' in order to demonstrate their technical skills.
Anahitha was delighted to win the competition, and she was pleased her persistence paid off after missing out on the top spot in the last three years before picking up the prize in her final year of being able to compete.
“I’m so excited to have won CyberCenturion,” she told the Welwyn Hatfield Times.
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“I started the competition in its fourth year, and to win in my final year of being able to compete feels amazing.
“I can't wait to go to the Pentagon with my incredible team, and it goes to show that hard work -years of practicing scripting, securing and repeating - and perseverance - continuing despite three years of just missing out on a spot in the finals or even first place - are always worth it.”
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CyberCenturion is a competition open to students aged 12-18 in the UK and British Overseas Territories, giving secondary school pupils the opportunity to develop and test their cyber security skills through a series of simulated challenges designed to reflect real-world situations.
Cyber Security Challenge UK chairman, Dr Robert Nowill said: “When we launched CyberCenturion VII midway through a global pandemic, we had yet to realise the truly limitless potential and resilience of our competitor and team leader cohort.
“We are immensely proud of not only their outstanding ability in the cyber security field, but also of their show of resilience during testing times.”