Undaunted by US attempts at besmirching its reputation, Kaspersky Lab is embarking on a talent discovery programme to find the next generation of cyber security specialists worldwide.
Kaspersky Lab has launched a new talent discovery programme, which it has alerted the world to in a media release entitled “No Talent, No Security”.
The programme can be seen at its site here, entitled “Cybersecurity for the Next Generation: International Multi-case Study Competition.”
It’s obviously not the first time Kaspersky Lab has been in the news this year, with iTWire having covered the woes the company endured at the hands of US authorities in great detail.
While the US goes after Kaspersky Lab, and after America’s own NSA has been exposed by Edward Snowden as hacking the planet, the US Department of Homeland Security has, this weekend, issued a rare warning that hackers are attacking US energy, water and other infrastructure.
It’s not the first time, either, with US authorities warning back in July that hackers were going after US nuclear infrastructure.
Perhaps if the US authorities were going after the real hackers out there actually hacking nuclear facilities, power stations, water plants and more, and not chasing after Kaspersky, which has shamed the US in exposing what appear to be NSA-led nation-state hacking activities, perhaps US authorities might actually catch some of the real hackers trying to do the US some real damage – while at the same time upholding a crucial US tenet of justice that says you are innocent until proven guilty.
So, with Kaspersky Lab weathering the US storm which it presumably hopes will pass at some point, there are still 6.7 billion non-American citizens in governments and countries worldwide the company can still protect, and there’s still a pool of seven billion people from which Kaspersky can help nurture the next-generation of security talent.
The programme is “an effort to address the IT security talent shortage”, and with Kaspersky Lab already helming “one of the biggest pools of extraordinarily talented experts around the world”, the company says it has “teamed up with partners such as Dassault Systems, PwC and Schlumberger to create a talent discovery program, named Cybersecurity for the Next Generation”.
We’re told that “the programme targets students and young specialists, with and without a security background, and the winner will take home a $10,000 grant”, presumably US dollars.
The pitch continues, noting that the “lack of IT security talent remains a prevalent issue for businesses around the world”, with one third of companies last year admitting that “improving their in-house security expertise is among the top three priorities of their IT security investment”, with 48% stating they are experiencing “a talent shortage”.
“IT security has become a central element of our digital lives, but it is not necessarily a topic that attracts a large pool of talent – although people working in the industry can expect secure, highly-paid and challenging jobs,” said Todd Helmbrecht, senior vice-president of marketing, Kaspersky Lab North America.
“With this programme, we want to demonstrate how interesting and diverse the field is and uncover talent that has so far been hidden. Experts are needed across all industries, and we believe that it is part of our mission to find more talent and let businesses benefit from a broader pool of experts.”
So, with the carrot of great pay and a true intellectual challenge in tackling the world’s most pressing cyber security challenges, there’s an incredible opportunity out there for men and women to step up and take the security challenge on.
Kaspersky Labs says that “Cybersecurity for the Next Generation invites participants to tackle real tasks, provided by all involved partners, and if successful, solutions may be implemented in business.”
An example is PwC (PriceWaterhouse Coopers), which is “looking for a solution to automatically aggregate and analyse security-related news on social media”.
Another is Schlumberger, “looking for a concept to secure data storage in the Schlumberger private cloud”.
We’re told that “some of the scenarios are not very technical; for example, Kaspersky Lab is looking for two gamified approaches to explaining and teaching security in healthcare, banks and retail”.
Contestants “can participate in groups of up to three and hand in their applications before 25 October at the Cybersecurity for the Next Generation site”.
An expert jury “will then choose finalists to be invited to the contest finals, which will be held in Prague on 5 and 6 December.”
The winner of the contest “will receive a grant of $10,000, the second place will have the opportunity to attend the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit and the third place winner will be sent to a professional conference on information security. In addition, there are special prizes from the contest’s partners, including internships, gadgets and other useful gifts”.
The full list of tasks and partners is as follows:
1. Secure browser / Rosatom + Greenatom
Develop a secure browser based on VM technologies.
2. Customer data protection in public clouds / Schlumberger
Offer a solution for secure data storage in the Schlumberger cloud.
3. Login authorisation control / Schlumberger
Develop a system of logging, event monitoring and user verification.
4. System for detection of external online communication channels / Gazprom Neft
Develop an algorithm, software module and the architecture for an information system capable of searching for unauthorised online communications on corporate hosts connected to a corporate data network.
5. Intrusion detection based on data mining / Kaspersky Lab
Compile a list of indicators of network traffic anomalies, and develop an algorithm of intelligent data analysis, develop architecture and a proof-of-concept of an intrusion detection system.
6. Information security feed system / PwC
Develop software capable of online aggregation and analysis of different topics regarding information security from social media.
7. Prevention of industrial espionage / Dassault Systems
Develop a solution to protect jewelry businesses from the loss of confidential information through technical channels.
8. Kaspersky interactive protection simulation – Healthcare scenario / Kaspersky Lab
Develop a game board and describe a scenario from the field of healthcare for Kaspersky Lab’s interactive protection simulation.
9. Kaspersky cyber safety management game – Healthcare | Bank | Retail scenario / Kaspersky Lab
Develop a scenario for Kaspersky Lab’s cyber safety management game with real examples of IT security incidents.