07/22/2021 • University of Defence was the host of the closing ceremony at which the results were announced of the fifth issue of Czech National Cyber Security Contest. Held at the University of Defence Club House on 20 July 2021, the contest awarded the most talented students in three age-based categories and presented three special awards. This year issue of the contest took place under the auspices of University of Defence rector brigadier general Zuzana Kročová who was present among the honorary guests. Invited to the ceremony were also brigadier general Lenka Šmerdová representing the General Staff, contest committee members, guarantors, partners and other supporters, along with the contestants in the finals themselves.
The contest in cyber security has taken place since 2016 to reach proudly some four thousand participating students in recent years. Very positive trend the contest has recorded in the terms of percentage of female participant that has exceeded 30%. The annual contest divides into three categories: juniors (students under 15 years of age), secondary school students (15 – 20 years), and 20+ category. The contest organiser is the Cyber Security Working Group under AFCEA and the principal guarantor is the National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB).
The fifth issue of the contest experienced interest from a number of new participants and quite a big support from the guarantors, partners and schools. Its general partners were Corpus Solutions and Škoda Auto, main partners CISCO Systems, CETIN, DataSpring and Gordic. The academic partners include Czech University of Technology, Masaryk University, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University, Czech Police Academy and University of Defence, too.
For the first time in contest history, the closing ceremony took place in University of Defence premises, more precisely at the Club House, on the occasion of the summer school arranged for the best contestants. Many important guests addressed the audience during the ceremony. The first one who opened the event was University of Defence rector Zuzana Kročová, followed by the contest committee’s vice-president Jaroslav Burčík. The latter together with Mr. Pitner representing Masaryk University presented prices for the “oldest” category 20+ in which 50 students coming from 13 universities competed. The winner was Adam Ivora for Masaryk University.
A supporter of the important and long-time ones is the Czech Ministry of Defence. Brigadier General Lenka Šmerdová, who represented the General Staff on behalf of the Chief of GS, addressed primarily the contest participants. Then general and Mr. Fendrich for NÚKIB presented prices in the Junior category (under 15) in which almost 200 students competed and the youngest was 11 years old. First place in the category won Anna Jungmanová for Doctrina elementary school.
The following short address delivered by Corpus Solutions general manager and AFCEA Czech Chapter second vice-president introduced the winner ceremony in the category with most participants. The above-mentioned speaker then asked Mr. Vrbik representing National Cyber Defence Centre to join him on the podium to present prices to the best ten contestants in Secondary Schools category (age 15 – 20 years) in which 3,500 students competed. That category is the most numerous every year. In this year, 1,200 of them passed to the second round and 36 to the finals, while more than 100 showed exceptional or outstanding knowledge. The first place in the category went to Jan Kučera for Březová’s secondary vocational school.
Mr. Vrbik’s address just preceded the ceremony of presenting special awards. Mr. Tomáš Přibyl presented The Best Write-Up Award to Lucie Hrušková. Anna Jungmanová received the winner award presented by Lubomír Fendrych and Jan Kučera the absolute winner award plus a commemoration medal, both presented by general Šmerdová.
In the following time, Mr. Minařík for Flowmon Networks delivered his address on behalf of all expert partners, Mr. Burčík, from his position of European finals chairman, acquainted the audience with the next phase coming in Prague in September, and colonel Hrůza as the vice-rector of the University of Defence for curriculum and contest committee chairman presented letters of acknowledgement to the partners.
The official part of the event closed with congratulations to all awarded, with thanks to the organisers, supporters and guests. Later reception and a show of Škoda Enyaq offered all a short show drive many used with delight. Students ended the afternoon in a debating society led by a former participant in the contest in a previous year.
Author: Veronika Černá