The difficulty of getting into a cyber security career has led to a lack of experts across the globe, according to Kaspersky Lab, who says many businesses are at risk of falling prey to cybercriminals as a result.
In response, Kaspersky Lab has launched Talent Lab, an international competition for university students and young professionals aged 18-30, aimed at solving topical cybersecurity challenges with competitors' technical and creative talents.
Ultimately, the program 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).
“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,” he says.
“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.
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.
Online submissions are now open for applicants from all countries and entries will remain open until 15th November 2016.