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International Cybersecurity Challenge: TEAM EUROPE Wins AGAIN!

August 2023 by Marc Jacob

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) is proud to announce Team Europe has reached 1st place on the podium of the International Cybersecurity Challenge for the second time in a row.

The 2nd International Cybersecurity Challenge (ICC) that took place in San Diego, United States, concluded on 4 August 2023. Team Europe saw their skills and competences challenged by some of the most complex cybersecurity puzzles to resolve.

With the highest score in the Capture the Flag (CTF) challenge, Team Europe was able to maintain the title earned last year. Team Oceania achieved second place and with a highest score in Attack and Defence (A&D), Team Asia achieved third place.

The European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), Executive Director Juhan Lepassaar, added: “The success of today is an obvious proof Europe has talents to invest in and we can rely on. It is also a sign we are on the right path and that the efforts do pay back. This is why we must remain committed to engage with all our partners to promote cybersecurity skills, awareness and education. Team Europe’s success gives the EU Agency for Cybersecurity another reason to further help build and retain a talented cybersecurity workforce in Europe.”

Hosted in San Diego, California, the ICC allowed some of the best players in the world to test their cybersecurity skills. A total of 7 teams from Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Oceania, and the United States took part in the competition. There were more than 65 countries participating in the regional competitions to form the seven teams engaged to compete.

ENISA trained and evaluated the members of Team Europe with the support of five coaches. Sanne Maasakkers, Pedro Adão, Johannes Kadak, Benjamin Kral and Mario Polino all assisted with both selection process and the preparation of the team for the competition. ENISA wished to warmly thank them all for the dedicated support they provided as coaches.

To prepare for this competition, ENISA organised four bootcamps, an online capture the flag (CTF) qualifier and team building activities over the past year. Fifty-five candidates from twenty-seven different European countries had joined the training activities leading to the selection of the final Team Europe.

The event is intended to showcase some of the world’s top rising young talent in cybersecurity with the aim to foster awareness, skills development, and career opportunities in cybersecurity using a variety of games and cybersecurity challenges.

Cyber skills initiatives at EU Level

These objectives are also those engraved into the Cybersecurity strategy of the European Union, further developed within the frame of the recently proposed Cybersecurity Skills Academy.

The proposed Cybersecurity Skills Academy falls into the scope the European Year of Skills 2023 of the European Union. The Academy is designed to bring together private and public initiatives aimed at promoting cybersecurity skills at European and national levels. The ultimate objective of the Academy is to increase the European cybersecurity workforce and upskill cybersecurity professionals, and make them visible on an online platform.

Next steps

ENISA is dedicated to form and train Team Europe that will partake in ICC 2024. If you would like to sponsor Team Europe or if you are interested in participating in the ICC 2024, you can contact us via the webpage.

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