NW Chapter: IT Sligo Science and Technology Expo

There is a significant lack of awareness and skills around cybersecurity in society. Furthermore, Ireland has a shortage of cybersecurity professionals, which is placing our digital economy at risk. We need to develop young people that have the aptitude and skills to become the next generation of cyber security specialists.

The Cyber Ireland North-West Chapter aims to promote cyber security as an aspirational, main stream career option for young people and support opportunities for all children from diverse backgrounds.

On Thursday 29th April, IT Sligo hosted their annual Engineering and Technology Expo. The Expo is an interactive, information sharing event which took place virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  It provides potential engineering students with an opportunity to gain exposure to a wide variety of companies and career options, interact with alumni and network with professional engineers. There were 45 booths at the event featuring both industry and 141 IT Sligo student projects and in total, over 1000+ people attended the expo.

“Have you ever wondered how a website is hacked?”

The North West Chapter were delighted to host a booth to promote cyber security careers. Chapter leads Paul Brady and Veronica Rogers (North-West Chapter Leads) gave a talk titled “Have you ever wondered how a website is hacked?”.  Paul introduced the Cyber Security industry, discussed the evolution of the Cyber Security over the years, and talked about the global shortage of Cyber Security skills.  Veronica talked about the different courses and career paths that are available in the industry, provided some information about the NW chapter, and provided information on how to register for the upcoming IT Sligo Cyber Summer Camp which the NW Chapter is supporting. Veronica also provided two interactive demos, one of an SQL injection in a vulnerable website and also a browser based attack. 

The highlight of the day was the Cyber Security Challenge which was provided with thanks to Zero Days Cyber Security. This involved 10 browser based challenges to test the students problem solving skills. We received some great feedback on the challenge and a number of participants managed to complete all 10 challenges which got them into our prize draw. We were delighted to announce the winners on LinkedIn:

  •  1st Prize – Gordon Hegarty – Kindle
  • 2nd Prize – Conor Nicolson – Bluetooth Speaker
  • 3rd Prize – Emma Murphy – Google Mini.