First MTU Cybersecurity Student Hackathon

Cybersecurity Solutions for a Better World

On Friday 14th & Saturday 15th October, students from Munster Technological University took up the challenge as part of a Cybersecurity Student Hackathon to create “Cyber Solutions for a Better World”. 

If we want Ireland to be the safest place to live and to work online, we need to solve the security challenges facing our economy and society by creating a cyber security start-up ecosystem with entrepreneurs developing new innovations and start-ups. Third-level student have an important role to play in our cyber security start-up ecosystem. 

Students from across computer science, engineering and BIS formed multidisciplinary teams and heard from companies across Technology, Healthcare, Pharma and Education on the security solutions facing their industries today. 

The teams had 24 hours in the Cyber Student Hackathon to work on a solution to the challenges, which was facilitated by Caitlin Hafer from WhatTheHack. As the students researched and developed their solutions they were aided by mentors from industry MTU lecturers to provide feedback and advice.  

At the end of the 24 hour sprint, the teams had to face a panel of judge from the Hackathon sponsors McKesson, Cyber Ireland and the Rubicon and pitch their solutions, which ranged from: 

  • Protecting SMEs against data breaches,  
  • an AI Zero Trust Architecture for insider threats,  
  • an AI-EDR solution 
  • Protecting smartphone data if lost or stolen 

The teams were judged on their Problem Research, Validation of the solution, User Experience or Applicability, Business Applications and Go-to-market, with a cash prize for the best solution and best presentation. 

They say it takes a village to raise a child; then it takes a community to raise a start-up. To create and support a cyber security start-up ecosystem in Ireland we need to encourage students and entrepreneurs to solve the security challenges impacting our society with supports, training,  mentors, and capital.  

Imagine a national cyber security start-up challenge, where the Industry and the Government set out the biggest security challenges facing our economy and society. This could be anything from protecting SMEs and citizens, to ransomware, supply chain risk, or operational technology security, for entrepreneurs to solve. 

That would truly move the needle to make Ireland a safe place to live and work. 

The Cybersecurity Student Hackathon would not have been possible with the financial support of McKesson, Rubicon Centre, MTU, Headlines Project and Cyber Ireland. As well as the voluntary contribution of people from industry and MTU. 

We are already looking forward to the Student Hackathon in 2023. If you, or your organisation, would like to get involved in the in 2023 please get in touch.