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Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) announces the winners of the 2016 CyberCenturion national finals, a team competition in a high-pressure, face-to-face cyber defence scenario against the clock. The competition is one of many initiatives led by Northrop Grumman to help identify the best young cyber talent.

The national final was held in the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park and was won by G-Sec, a team from Bayside Comprehensive School, Gibraltar.

CyberCenturion is the U.K.’s first team-based cyber security contest specifically designed to attract 12-18 year olds. Delivered in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge U.K., the competition aims to engage talented young people with an interest in cyber as a way to address the national skills gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and encourage careers in cyber security.

The ten teams in the finals, who competed against hundreds of players from across the UK and Overseas Territories over three qualifying rounds, were tasked to defend a fictitious newly created Internet of Things (IoT) business which was vulnerable to cyber attacks. The scenario tasked contestants to analyse the company’s network and identify and remediate security flaws across different operating systems – much like those found in businesses across the country today.

“There is a huge pool of untapped talent and enthusiasm for STEM subjects among young people and we believe we can use our world-leading expertise in cyber to help dramatically boost the UK’s STEM skills base,” added Andrew Tyler, Chief Executive Europe, Northrop Grumman. “We are addressing this issue around the world and in addition to CyberCenturion in Europe and CyberPatriot in the US, we now also have CyberArabia in the Middle East, each aimed at developing talent and helping inspire and enable young people to pursue a career in cyber security. It is critical for the future of our global infrastructure that young people are engaged and that the talent pipeline is filled in this important area.”

“This year we saw double the number of teams signing up to play; a fantastic result and one we’d like to see again in the third year of the competition,” said Stephanie Daman, CEO at Cyber Security Challenge UK. “With an expected deficit of 1.5 million unfulfilled jobs in cyber globally by 2020, we need to get children interested in cyber at an early age and the diversity of jobs in the sector means we need individuals from different backgrounds, interests and areas too.”

CyberCenturion is the U.K. version of the proven CyberPatriot competition, part of a major U.S. national youth cyber STEM education programme presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation and created by the Air Force Association. It is part of the company’s commitment to promoting STEM education and to helping build the U.K.’s pool of talent in cyber security. The CyberPatriot competition in the U.S. has already engaged more than300,000 children, educating them on the opportunities in cyber security across the U.S. Eighty percent of those who have taken part in CyberPatriot now plan to pursue a higher education course in cyber or STEM .

The competition was modelled after the U.S. CyberPatriot Youth Cyber Defense Competition, a programme created by the Air Force Association, a nonprofit organisation advocating for education, and presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

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