Students from all over the USA descended on downtown Brooklyn, New York earlier this week to compete in the ninth annual Cyber Security Week (CSAW) – the world's largest ethical hacking educational event.
The campus of the Polytechnic Institute of the New York University (NYU-Poly) played host to hundreds of competitors who had earned their place in the finals through a preliminary round which initially featured more than 10,000 entrants.
The main event of the games was the Capture the Flag Applications Security Challenge, which was dominated by two teams from Carnegie Mellon University.
Other events included a High School Cyber Forensics Challenge and a special conference held by Kaspersky Labs entitled Cybersecurity for the Next Generation.
Another competition was the Adobe Security Awareness Video contest, in which student filmmakers prepared videos on the importance of ensuring strong vulnerability management and being aware as to the risks of digital crime.
According to NYU-Poly professor of computer science and engineering Nasir Memon the games are an important part of encouraging and educating the next generation of cyber security experts.
"By attracting a record number of students to the CSAW games this year, we were pleased to open opportunities for more students than ever to increase their cyber security knowledge and build the strong networks of the peers and professionals that they will need in this fast-changing field," said Mr Memon in a statement released November 21.
"It also gives me great pride to witness the leadership that NYU-Poly's cyber security students and alumni exhibit as they developed and organized the CSAW challenges into world-recognised events."
The event has also become a hotspot for cyber security recruitment in recent years, with representatives from US government agencies as well as top security firms and blue chip companies in attendance to scout finalists.
A team of students from the University of South Florida who had earlier taken first place in the Embedded Systems Challenge reportedly received three different offers of employment.
According to research conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the cyber security industry is one of the few sectors expected to grow in the future. It is projected that this workforce will expand by upwards of 22 per cent by the year 2020.