- CyberFirst Girls' online stage saw more than 200,000 questions answered in 7 days
- Top 10 teams named today (14 February) after 1,270 teams from around the UK enter competition
- The girls will now progress to a live national final to be held in Manchester in March
The finalists for an intense competition to find the UK’s best cyber security female talent of tomorrow have been named after they finished in the top 1% of entrants.
Girls representing 10 schools will travel to Manchester in March to take part in a live final that will test their intellect and technological skills to tackle a series of cyber security problems based on a real-world scenario.
4,500 girls aged 12-13 from around the UK used ingenuity and teamwork to complete challenges in the online round. Of the 170 logic puzzles devised by GCHQ and NCSC masterminds, only 14 remained unsolved.
The teams and schools who have made it through to the final are:
- The Furious 4 - St Catherine's College, Armagh
- The Computifuls - The Piggott School, Berkshire
- Enigmatic - The Queen's School, Cheshire
- Zen Coders - Chelmsford County High School for Girls, Essex
- NevAmJoYas - Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kent
- Goggles - North London Collegiate School, Middlesex
- Tiffin 14 - The Tiffin Girls' School, Surrey
- Tea Weasels - Chipping Campden School, Gloucestershire
- Marauders and Co - Pate's Grammar School, Gloucestershire
- Little Miss Virtuals - St Augustine's Catholic College, Wiltshire
Alison Whitney, Director for Engagement at the NCSC, said:
“I’m sure everyone will join me in congratulating the schools and wishing them all the best of luck for the final.
“It is terrific that we have had such an encouraging response to the second year of the NCSC’s CyberFirst Girls Competition, and a testament to how interested girls can be in the subject.
“Cyber security is a thrilling choice of study and career, and one that I recommend to any young woman who wants to make a positive impact in a cutting-edge environment.”
Now in its second year, it is hoped that CyberFirst Girls could spark a lifelong interest that could be turned into a fulfilling career in cyber security, helping make the UK one of the safest places to live and do business online.
The competition has seen a highly positive take up on its return, with a 52% rise in the number of schools who registered teams to compete.
While the NCSC offers free CyberFirst courses for 11 to 17-year-old males and females, this contest is aimed specifically at female pupils because women make up only 10 per cent of the global cyber workforce. This means a huge swathe of talent in the UK are potentially missing out on a career they could excel in.
The UK government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and address the cyber skills gap to develop and grow talent. A five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) was announced in November 2016, supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.
Youngsters interested in learning more about cyber security should keep an eye on the New Talent webpage for opportunities to attend free CyberFirst courses in the summer.
Read more about the statistics from the competition here .