iCSS-KMCC-ISC2-KMCS3 “Celebrating Cyber” event on cyber security awareness and training

On 22nd May Wednesday afternoon, at a “Celebrating Cyber” event organised by KMCC jointly with the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) of the University of Kent, ISC2 and Kent & Medway Cyber Security Student Society (KMCS3), members of the local cyber security community came together on University of Kent’s Canterbury campus to celebrate a new academic partnership between the University of Kent and ISC2, some planned ISC2 cyber security certification training activities, and the award-winning outputs from the 2023-24 iCSS-KMCC-KMCS3 CyberAnything Competition.

The event started with a lively BBQ lunch, providing a relaxed environment for networking and discussions among attendees. It was a vibrant gathering of cyber security enthusiasts, students, professionals, and competition participants. Professor Shujun Li (iCSS Director and Chair of KMCC Steering Group, and Professor of Cyber Security from the School of Computing of the University of Kent) kicked off the event with an engaging speech, welcoming everyone and outlining the agenda.

Shujun Li discussing the agenda.

Following Professor Li’s opening address, four speakers gave a series of insightful light talks. They include:

  • Jason Steer, Director and CEO of KMCC, and CISO of Recorded Future, who emphasised the critical importance of cyber security in today’s digital age.
  • Tabitha Flax, Associate Director, Channel Partnerships and Alliances, ISC2, who discussed the value of ISC2 certifications in advancing cyber security careers and addressed current talent shortages in the field.
  • Two student leaders from KMCS3, Daniel Shorter (current VP for UG Stage 1 and Events) and Mihai Moraru (the new President), who shared their experiences and the challenges faced during the Society’s setup phase, highlighting the importance of community and collaboration in cyber security education.
Jason Steer giving a short introduction, emphasising the importance of cybersecurity.
Tabitha Flax sharing valuable insights about ISC2 and the importance of certifications in cybersecurity.
Daniel Shorter and Mihai Moraru giving a short introduction on KMCS3’s activities.

After the above-mentioned talks, Professor Li highlighted the ongoing collaboration between KMCC, iCSS and ISC2 through the 1MCC campaign (which promotes the ISC2 entry-level cyber security certification CC) and a planned iCSS-KMCC pilot ISC2 training course for the more advanced cyber security certification CISSP in the summer. These initiatives aim to encourage more local people to pursue a cyber security career pathway and to provide new training opportunities to address the growing demand for skilled professionals in the field.

The second part of the event saw Dr Alex Covaci, iCSS Taught Student Engagement Lead and Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts and Technology from the School of Engineering at the University of Kent, to announce the prize-winning submissions of the CyberAnything Competition as the Chair of the Prize Judging Panel. All prize-winning submissions were presented at the event, and certificates were awarded to prize winners by Professor Shujun Li and Jason Steer on behalf of iCSS and KMCC, the two financial co-sponsors of the Competition. Most prize winners attended in person, including two pupils from a local primary school and their parents. Several prize winners could not attend because they live quite far from Canterbury, but they all attended remotely to say a few words about their prize-winning submission.

Alex Covaci introducing the competition winners.

Among all the 26 prize-winning submission, the Best Overall Prize across All Categories went to Pornlapat Thopwongsri, an MSc student studying at Kent Business School of the University of Kent, for her submission titled “Fall-in-love victims and online catfishing.” This compelling short video tells a mini-story around a fictional romance scam, highlighting the ease for cyber criminals to conduct cyber fraud activities such as catfishing and the importance to raise cyber security and online safety awareness in the whole population.

Pornlapat Thopwongsri receiving best overall prize.

We thank all who submitted their work to the CyberAnything Competition and congratulate all the winners for their inspiring work. To view the complete list of winners and their creative submissions, visit the results page on the iCSS website.

Based on all submissions, iCSS, KMCC and KMCS3 are planning to organise an exhibition later this year (likely from mid September until end October). Please follow up on LinkedIn and stay tuned for further announcements about the exhibition and other cyber security awareness and training news.

If you want to view the live coverage of the event, check and follow our LinkedIn page.

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