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Taste of Cyber at UC showcases the diversity of a career in cybersecurity

Suzanne Lazaroo

3 April 2024: At the recent Taste of Cyber event, hosted by the Canberra Cyber Hub and the University of Canberra, students were given a chance to experience how diverse a career in cybersecurity can be.

Attended by students from the University of Canberra, the Australian National University (ANU), UNSW Canberra and CIT, as well as those interested in a cyber career transition, the event was opened by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA.

In his welcome address, Mr Barr emphasised the importance of ensuring and bolstering the cyber workforce, both now and into the future.

Professor Janine Deakin, the University’s Interim Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise (DVCRE) said that the tech sector is dynamic, diverse – and about much more than just people sitting at a computer screen.

“Today’s event aligns with that idea, giving our students a taste of the different cyber opportunities that lie ahead, whether that’s learning encryptions, defending servers, risk and compliance or cyber communication,” she said.

Karen Schilling, Director of Canberra Cyber Hub, said that the event provided a unique and engaging opportunity to shed light for students who may want to study relevant qualifications, but were unsure of what a job in the sector may look like.

“The truth is that ‘cyber’ is such a broad area with a huge number of potential roles, that extend across all industries and sectors,” she said. “At its heart, cyber’s focus is people, rather than just technology.”

A host of cyber institutes ran hands-on activities for students in round robin style, with students signing up for the activities that interested them the most. Each session lasted for 20 minutes, with students choosing four sessions each.

Ionize organised for a team of students to defend a server from hackers, providing a glimpse of what it’s like to work in round-the-clock cyber defence; Questacon guided students on the importance of communication in cyber through its cybersecurity boardgame.

Viden held a session on encryption and its use in securing data, while Proactive Labs hosted a Capture the Flag activity with a cybersecurity twist – highlighting the role of penetration testing in securing defences. And Cyconsol focused on Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), showcasing how cyber incidents affect businesses in any sector, and how GRC helps guard against this.

Securus Consulting Group enabled students to explore the intricacies of access control, as they tried to capture and use credentials.

And the University’s Careers UC held a popular session to help students boost their resumes to get noticed in the cyber industry.

The activities were capped to allow for students to ask questions and build professional connections with industry reps.

“In addition to giving students an idea of how diverse jobs in cyber can be, it has been a great opportunity for them to network with prospective employers – while the companies get to survey the future workforce,” Ms Schilling said.