iCSS-KMCC-ISC2-KMCS3 event celebrating cyber security awareness and training activities


A recent event organised by the Institute of Cyber Security for Society (iCSS) saw members of the community come together on Kent’s Canterbury campus to celebrate new partnerships, training schemes and the award-winning outputs from the 2023-24 CyberAnything Competition.

The competition, organised by iCSS, the Kent & Medway Cyber Cluster (KMCC) and the Kent & Medway Cyber Security Student Society (KMCS3), challenged members of the University of Kent and the public including schoolchildren to submit creative and thought-provoking depictions of the ways in which cyber security has become part of our everyday lives. It was launched to raise awareness about cyber security and empower more individuals to learn how to protect themselves and others online.

Some of the highlights from the winning entries include:

  • A video about catfishing by Pornlapat Thopwongsri, an MSc Kent Business School student

  • An AI-generated video by Deep Deuja, an MSc student from Kingston University

  • A cyber security awareness puzzle booklet by Daniel Shorter, a UG student in the School of Computing
  • Poems by Mickey Williams, an Assistant IT Operations Engineer at Kent’s Information Services, and Lucie Bridgman, an UG student in the School of Classics, English and History
  • An artistic handcraft made by Tom Neaves, a Kent alumnus
  • A comic book and a hand-painted poster by two local school pupils, Gus Marshall and Henry Korra
  • A cyber security escape room game designed by Jamie Champion & Cait Penmen, two graduating UG students in the School of Computing
  • Artwork by four students in the School of Arts including one international exchange student from the USA

The full collection of entries is available to view here. 

The event also celebrated Kent’s newly established academic partnership with ISC2, the world’s leading not-for-profit member association for cyber security professionals, which will see them join forces with the KMCC to close the cyber security skills gap currently faced by businesses globally. They are encouraging people in Kent and Medway to complete ISC2’s beginner-facing cyber security certification CC as part of ISC2’s campaign to get 1 million people CC-certified with free training materials and waived exam fees. The collaboration will also see them deliver a pilot training course for ISC2’s more advanced cyber security certification CISSP later this summer.

Event speakers included Tabitha Flax, Associate Director of ISC2, Shujun Li, Professor of Cyber Security and Director of iCSS, and Jason Steer, Director and CEO of KMCC & CISO of Recorded Future. Dr Alexandra Covaci, Senior Lecturer in Digital Arts and Technology and iCSS’s Taught Student Engagement Lead, announced all prize winners at the event, in her role as the Chair of the Prize Judging Panel. Two student leaders of KMCS3 also explained what the student society has been doing and their future plans.

Professor Shujun Li said: ‘We are really glad to see many quality submissions to this year’s CyberAnything Competitions. Different from our 2022 Cyber Security Photography Competition, this year we saw submissions of all types, including videos, posters, poems and even handcrafted items. We were particularly glad to have received submissions from two school pupils, which show how we can do more by working closely with children, schools, teachers and parents, e.g., via the Kent & Medway CyberSchools Network (KMCSN) we co-founded. We are also excited to see the new academic partnership with ISC2, and can’t wait to start planning our future cyber security certification training activities, which will certainly help inspire more to consider a cyber security career pathway.’ 

Alex Mortimer, ISC2 Academic Partnerships Lead, said, ‘The industry is desperate for more people with the skills needed to deal with cyber-attacks. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the University of Kent as a leading centre of excellence in cybersecurity. They have an impressive team of cyber experts, supporting students and the business community. I’m looking forward to working with Professor Li and his team.’

A more detailed account of the event with more photos can be found in this news story published by the event’s co-organiser KMCC.