October 26, 2023

Fortinet and National Australia Bank will Host 2023 Cyber Codefest to Further Develop Cybersecurity Skills in University Students


Cyber Codefest gives participating students the opportunity to learn from and network with cybersecurity leaders

October 26, 2023 Fortinet, the global cybersecurity leader driving the convergence of networking and security, is partnering with the National Australia Bank (NAB) to hold its second annual Cyber Codefest today at Fortress Melbourne as part of the company’s commitment to closing the cybersecurity skills gap by developing the cyber workforce of the future. The event will involve 80 University students, with 50 participants taking part in an engaging, hands-on capture the flag competition designed to test and showcase their cybersecurity skills. 

Following the success of the first Cyber Codefest held in November 2022, this year’s contest will include an equal ratio of female to male participants and feature teams from Deakin University, Monash University, RMIT University, Swinburne University of Technology, and the University of Melbourne. This event further builds on Fortinet’s partnerships with academia through the Fortinet Training Institute’s Academic Partner program, which provides education institutions and schools around the world with access to industry-recognised training and certification to help develop skilled security professionals.  

Held during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the capture the flag competition requires students to work as a team to infiltrate a network, search for intentionally placed vulnerabilities, and use those to capture a final string of code to prove where all the vulnerabilities were located. Prizes will be presented by the winners of the contest held at the 2022 Cyber Codefest. 

This year’s event will include presentations given by industry leaders such as Sandro Bucchianeri, chief security officer at NAB and Abbas Kudrati, director and ASEAN chief cybersecurity, risk, and compliance advisor at Microsoft. The speakers will discuss their personal career path, the current job market, and the various career options available to cybersecurity graduates. Students will also be able to network with industry experts and the winners of the 2022 Cyber Codefest event throughout, providing them with an opportunity to talk with recent graduates and those currently practicing within the field.  

Many of the participating students are also members of the Grad Girls program created by Vic ICT for Women, which provides a range of practical initiatives that promote urban and regional women’s entry, retention, and progression in technology, as well as Purple Team Australia, a program that aims to increase opportunities for women and First Nations Australians to enter the cybersecurity profession. This aligns with Fortinet’s focus on providing opportunities for more women to upskill and reskill in cybersecurity as part of the company’s commitment to addressing the talent shortage.  

Dale Nachman, country manager, Australia, Fortinet said, “Fortinet is committed to developing experts in the field of cybersecurity and closing the cybersecurity skills gap. In partnership with NAB, the 2023 Cyber Codefest is designed to provide the next generation of cybersecurity professionals with insight into how these industry experts built their careers and what the students can expect when they enter the workforce. The capture the flag competition is also extremely popular as it lets students take the theory they have recently learnt and put their skills to the test in a real-world yet safe and fun environment.” 

Sandro Bucchianeri, chief security officer, NAB said, “As we’ve seen this past week, cybersecurity is firmly at the top of the national agenda, and rightly so. We’re facing one of the biggest existential threats of our time and we need to continue pulling our collective strengths together to bolster our country’s cyber resilience and response plan. A big part of that is ensuring the next generation of cyber professionals are ready to face up to that challenge. That’s why we continue to invest in, and build cyber skills within the education sector, working alongside Australian universities and our industry partners like Fortinet. It’s initiatives like Cyber CodeFest that will make a meaningful difference in building our national cybersecurity posture, and ultimately protecting our nation.” 

About Fortinet

Fortinet is a driving force in the evolution of cybersecurity and the convergence of networking and security. Our mission is to secure people, devices, and data everywhere, and today we deliver cybersecurity everywhere you need it with the largest integrated portfolio of over 50 enterprise-grade products. Well over half a million customers trust Fortinet’s solutions, which are among the most deployed, most patented, and most validated in the industry. The Fortinet Training Institute, one of the largest and broadest training programs in the industry, is dedicated to making cybersecurity training and new career opportunities available to everyone. FortiGuard Labs, Fortinet’s elite threat intelligence and research organisation, develops and utilises leading-edge machine learning and AI technologies to provide customers with timely and consistently top-rated protection and actionable threat intelligence. Learn more at https://www.fortinet.com, the Fortinet Blog, and FortiGuard Labs



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