U.K. Code-Breaking Contest Hopes To Find Young Cybersecurity Talent

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LONDON (UPI) — Officials are urging British schools to sign up for a code-breaking competition meant to help develop the next generation of cybersecurity experts.

The challenge, set up by the industry, is being opened up to schools across Britain following a $150,000 investment from the Cabinet Office.

In the competition, teenage students from age 14 to 16 will pit their wits against each other to crack secret codes in order to uncover hidden messages and then compose their own, the BBC reported.

The competition is part of industry’s Cyber Security Challenge, designed to encourage students to consider work in the computer security field.

“This latest initiative to introduce children in secondary education to cybersecurity is an excellent way of bringing talent into this area, helping young people to discover why cybersecurity matters and inspiring them to take up the profession,” Cabinet Office Minister Chloe Smith said.

The top performers in the national contest will take part in a face-to-face competition with the winners earning $1,500 for their school, contest organizers said.

Cybersecurity is a priority for Britain and needs talented young people to enter the industry, Stephanie Daman of the Cyber Security Challenge said.

“The long-term solution must start at the grass roots and that means helping teachers find new fun, exciting and accessible ways for younger audiences to discover why cybersecurity matters,” Daman said.

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