Ethical hacking challenge a big success
Hacking as an organised activity has gained more traction over the past couple of years. Ethical hacking has emerged as a much-needed counter control to organised and state sponsored hacking activities. With the network line blurred between office and home, our data is more at risk than ever before.
Goutham Jagadeesha (Master of Science in Computing in Big Data Analytics & Artificial Intelligence, LYIT), celebrates becoming the first TCS HackQuest Ireland winner.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a global IT services, consulting and business solutions organisation, with significant operations in Letterkenny, teamed up last week with LYIT to run TCS HackQuest Ireland 2022. The event builds on the very successful TCS HackQuest event which has been operating in India since 2016. TCS is now piloting the ethical hacking challenge event in Ireland in collaboration with LYIT, which has marked the first time this event has been held outside of India.
The TCS HackQuest event engages with students who have a passion for ethical hacking and in general securing the digital future of organisations engaged in transacting millions of data points across the world. The collaboration between the locally based TCS Cyber Security Unit team and LYIT allows students from the Department of Computing to participate in workshops and challenges to enhance their skills in cybersecurity and hacking.
HackQuest started in 2016 as an earnest attempt to unearth specific talents who excelled in playing their favourite game – Catch the Flag! Based on the popular ‘Catch the Flag’ (CTF) format, the contest presents a set of challenges to be completed in six hours. Each challenge evaluates their ethical hacking skills in their special competency in finding vulnerabilities. In the end, associates are rewarded with special prizes.
Andrea McBride, Head of the TCS Letterkenny Global Delivery Centre says: “We’re delighted to partner with our friends in LYIT on the pilot of the HackQuest Ireland series. Our Cyber Security Unit is looking for students who have a passion for ethical hacking, securing the digital future of organisations across the world. HackQuest was created by our colleagues in India in 2016 and has since become a massive success, with over 600 colleges and 22,000 students participating in 2021. It’s really exciting to bring this opportunity first and foremost to the student community where we live and work, our hometown of Letterkenny”.
Thomas Dowling, Head of Department of Computing at LYIT says: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with TCS to host this event, the first of its kind in Europe. TCS is a huge international company with dozens of top-level ICT partners which offers them the opportunity to grow their operations in Letterkenny and this in turn offers our graduates wonderful opportunities to gain employment with TCS and develop their careers in whatever direction they find interesting. We look forward to many similar collaborations with TCS in the future”.
The event took place at LYIT on Thursday 3 February. It was an initial pilot of a one-day HackQuest Ireland format that TCS are hoping to roll it out in conjunction with partnering colleges across the country. Lead out by the TCS Letterkenny Cyber Security Unit, this has been a significant effort of multiple teams across LYIT and TCS Letterkenny.
It was important to organisers that all students had the opportunity to participate, and to that end the format was adapted to both online and on-site hybrid. Some international students who study online programmes at LYIT, participated online from different counties across Ireland. The event was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
TCS is one of the largest employers in the North West region employing close to 1,400 people across a range of high-skilled tech related roles.
Main photo caption: TCS HackQuest Ireland winner Goutham Jagadeesha presented with his winner’s certificate and prizes at the collaborative event hosted in LYIT last week. Pictured L-R: Umamalini Nagaraj Senapathy (TCS), Paul Hannigan (LYIT President), Goutham Jagadeesha (HackQuest Ireland winner) and Tim Kelley (TCS).