NYU Student Cybersecurity Competition Expands to India, Middle East
Tuesday, August 02, 2016 | Comments

The world's largest student-run cybersecurity event, founded 13 years ago by the New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, will expand to NYU Abu Dhabi and the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur, where finalists from India, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States will compete simultaneously in November.

The schools also announced they are accepting registrations for the Cyber Security Awareness Week (CSAW) elimination rounds in August and September, which last year pitted nearly 20,000 students – from high schools through doctoral programs – against global competitors, all working from their own computers. The competitions will challenge their knowledge of virtually every aspect of information security, from hardware and software penetration testing and protection to digital forensics and government policy.

This year, the best students from India, the Middle East, North Africa and the United States will earn travel awards to participate in the final rounds, which will be held Nov. 10-12 at IIT Kanpur, NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Tandon. At the regional CSAW campuses, students will network with top professionals who will serve as judges, hear experts address emerging issues, meet recruiters eager to fill what is expected to be a shortfall of 1.5 million cybersecurity professionals by 2020 and face tough competition from teams from other schools.

The CSAW games were founded by Professor Nasir Memon, now chair of the NYU Tandon Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and his students. Students continue to design the contests under the mentorship of information security professionals and faculty and run them from NYU Tandon's student-led Offensive Security, Incident Response and Internet Security (OSIRIS) lab.

"Data security is a critical global issue,” Memon said. “Attackers know no national boundaries and neither should those who protect our personal privacy and institutions. We are pleased that IIT Kanpur, a world-leading engineering school, recognized the ability of CSAW to engage and educate information security students and decided to introduce the contests to students throughout India.

“I am equally excited about the role that NYU Abu Dhabi will play this year,” Memon said. “In the past, CSAW brought high school teams to New York. This year, thanks to the leadership of students and faculty, it will expand its reach to high school and university students across the Middle East and North Africa."

Memon heads NYU Abu Dhabi's cybersecurity program, as well as NYU Tandon's.

"With hobby hackers, foreign state actors, terrorist organizations and other adversaries abounding, cybersecurity is not just a computer science issue but a national security issue,” said Manindra Agrawal, the N. Rama Rao professor for IIT Kanpur's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. “IIT Kanpur is delighted to join hands with the New York University Tandon School of Engineering to bring the cybersecurity awareness competitions to India. We hope that Indian institutes and universities will participate in large numbers and show their competitiveness against the teams from all over the world.”

Each of the regional finalist competitions will vary slightly in the content. Winners of the final rounds can walk away with cash prizes, scholarships and more. Bragging rights are often the biggest motivator, as CSAW has become a boldface line for recruiters and university admissions officers. Find more information on the competition here.

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