As Cybersecurity Challenge participation surges, industry recruiters are watching

Industry recruiters are watching closely as this year’s Cyber Security Challenge Australia (CySCA) – bigger than ever thanks to a surge in TAFE enrolments, 40 percent growth in participants and record numbers of women – has driven furious competition comes into its final hours.

Some 427 competitors, spread across 109 teams, have spent the better part of 24 hours working through a series of cybersecurity challenges arranged by CySCA sponsors including Telstra, Cisco, PwC, Microsoft, BAE Systems, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, AustCyber, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), and AISA – at whose annual conference a room has been dedicated to physically bring together eight teams for the first time.

Two of those teams were comprised entirely of women – something that CySCA co-ordinator Amy Roberts, assistant director of ACSC Experience with the ACSC, sees as a visible reflection of the changing demographics of the next generation of cybersecurity workers.

The need to expand the scope of recruitment and engagement “is something that we need to continually reinforce – that cybersecurity is not just about ones and zeros,” she said. “We’re getting a new generation involved, and providing a multi and inter-disciplinary approach to cybersecurity. Our challenge is communicating that to the cybersecurity industry.”