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Silicon Valley Tests Its Cyber Readiness at Symantec Competition

Created: 19 Mar 2013
Pamela Reese's picture
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Symantec brought its Cyber Readiness Challenge to the Silicon Valley on March 13, 2013 where more than 50 participants gathered at the Computer History Museum (how appropriate!) to engage in the evening’s friendly competition. This event series promotes discussions about the evolving cyberthreat landscape with the objective of helping organizations mitigate risk and maintain their security posture. Symantec previously hosted games all over the U.S., including Dallas and Chicago.

The evening began with a keynote presentation by Kevin Haley, director of Symantec Security Response, that covered some key trends in the evolving and sophisticated nature of today’s threat landscape. Highlights included randsomware trends, mobile threats (including a fake app that purports to turn your phone into a solar panel) and provided attendees with current examples of targeted attack techniques. Then, the games commenced with Symantec’s Cyber Readiness Challenge, an interactive competition – set in a ‘capture the flag’ style environment -- designed to have users with varying levels of technical acumen, perform a series of tasks attacking and defending simulated data centers (similar to that of a hacker attempting to infiltrate an organization).

Competing for both cash prizes as well as for bragging rights among their technical peers, the participants enjoyed the game as it unfolded throughout the evening. The winner of the $2,500 grand prize was Kyle Osborn using the player handle “KOS.” Other victors at the event include second place winner David Tomaschik (player handle: Matir) and third place winner Joshua Chin who played as axesslan. Chin is the first repeat winner in the Challenge series. Previously, he took second place at Symantec’s Cyber Readiness Challenge in Irvine, California. This Challenge also marked the first time that all three winners reached Level 3 of the game.

According to Kevin Haley, “According to Kevin Haley, “Bringing the Cyber Readiness Challenge to the Silicon Valley was enormously gratifying. This audience had a lot of fun with the attack scenarios in the game and let us know that they feel wiser about protecting their own organizations after walking a few hours in the attackers’ shoes.”

Insight, a Symantec Platinum National Partner, sponsored the event and contributed a Kindle Fire to the mix of prizes for participants. As one of the world’s largest software resellers, Insight has the ability and expertise to deliver software solutions worldwide; as such, the company understands the increasingly vital role software plays in the IT environment of organizations.

Over the next few months, Symantec will host additional Cyber Readiness Challenges in New York City and Nashville, Tennessee.