(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) The world's largest student-run cyber security event - Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) - will take place at the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, this year in November. Finalists from the Middle East, India, North Africa and the US will compete at the event in November 2016.
The event was founded 13 years ago by the New York University Tandon School of Engineering. This year, the schools are also accepting registrations for the elimination rounds in August and September. Last year, nearly 20,000 students competed in CSAW, from high schools through doctoral programmes, against global contestants, all working from their own computers. The competitions challenge their knowledge of virtually every aspect of IT security, from hardware and software penetration testing and protection, to digital forensics and government policy. This year, the best students from the MENA region, India, and the US will earn travel awards to participate in the final rounds, to be held on November 10-12, 2016, at IIT Kanpur, NYUAD, and NYU Tandon. At the regional CSAW campuses, students network with top professionals who serve as judges, hear experts address emerging issues, meet recruiters eager to fill what is expected to be a shortfall of 1.5 million cyber security professionals by 2020, and face tough competition from other schools. Data security is key to future The CSAW games were founded by Professor Nasir Memon, now chair of the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and his students. Memon heads NYUAD's cyber security programme, as well as NYU Tandon's. Students continue to design the contests under the mentorship of IT security professionals and faculty. "Data security is a critical global issue. Attackers know no national boundaries and neither should those who protect our personal privacy and institutions," said Memon. "In the past, CSAW brought high school teams to New York. This year, thanks to the leadership of students and faculty, it will expand its reach to high school and university students across the MENA region." Each regional finalist competition will vary slightly in content. Winners of the final rounds can walk away with cash prizes, scholarships and more. This year, CSAW will have eight different competition categories. Among them is 'Capture the Flag', a hacking competition, 'High School Forensics', a case of fictional murder mystery and 'Embedded Security Challenge', where a Blue Team from NYU Tandon designs a target system and everyone else - Red Teams - will hack it to mimic real-world attacks. "With hobby hackers, foreign state actors, terrorist organisations and other adversaries abounding, cyber security is not just a computer science topic, but a national security issue. IIT Kanpur is delighted to join hands with the NYU Tandon School of Engineering to bring cyber security awareness competitions to India," said Manindra Agrawal, professor at IIT Kanpur's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. For more info and registration, visit csaw.engineering.nyu.edu (follow CSAW_NYUTandon) Preliminary rounds for the Embedded Security Challenge will be held in August; the other preliminary challenges will be in September. Silvia Radan I'm a senior journalist with 22 years experience in all forms of mass media. Originally from Romania, I lived and work in Bosnia, Uzbekistan, England and, for the past 10 years, in UAE. I specialize in art, culture, traditions, heritage, but also environment and the hospitality industry. I'm passionate about jazz and world music, cinema, mythology and offroading - I'm a marshal with one of UAE's offroading clubs!