Instil and Vertical Structure set to rerun their FREE Capture The Flag workshop

  • As part of the inaugural CyberNI Week local companies, Instil and Vertical Structure, decided to tap into the need of cyber security by running a Capture the Flag workshop targeted at developers and testers but with a twist.

    If you are not aware, Capture the Flag (CTF) is a security game where participants attempt to capture “text” flags hidden inside intentionally vulnerable software. As a game, it is both educational and competitive, which is an approach that might not suit everyone. Many (most?) people have very little desire to have their name in lights. They would rather have the learning experience without the competitive edge. Which is where the twist comes in.

    Learning not Winning

    In this workshop, the focus is very much on learning rather than winning. Teams are still trying to capture the flag, but they do so with a guiding hand with the intent purpose of:

    • Glimpsing into the mindset of the hacker and their motivations
    • Deepening their understanding of possible attack vectors
    • Sharpening their understanding of secure-by-design principles
    • Developing confidence in their ability to write, test and ship code

    Simon Whittaker, CEO at Vertical Structure, commented: “Going beyond functional development and testing is critical in an age where cyber attacks are on the up and software products are at increasing risk. Our goal is to deliver an event that invites software developers and testers to look at their applications from beyond the functional baseline and to understand the motivations and tactics employed by bad actors to help our attendees write, test and ship with security confidence”.

    RELATED: Capture the Flag!

    Striking a Chord

    The workshop has clearly resonated. Instil / VS had hoped to fill a room with a capacity for 50 people. Within a few days, they had more than doubled that number, with teams still registering.

    Security has clearly become a first-order concern for developers wherever they work on the stack. But for a community of developers focused on doing good things, understanding the mindset, techniques and various tools of mayhem will feel like unfamiliar territory. But not one that they can ignore any longer.

    Tara Simpson, CEO at Instil Software, commented: “We all know that cyber security is a primary concern for every software development organisation - a common cause to which we can all relate. We had a hunch that this might be popular but not to this level. It’s great to see and of course, it’s always a pleasure to collaborate with the great team at Vertical Structure.”

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    CTF Part Deux

    Given the demand, the organisers have decided to run the workshop again - same format, same price (FREE), with the same emphasis on learning. They are just waiting for final confirmation of the availability of the actual CTF platform, but the venue and date have been tentatively set to:

    Date: 28th March (10am - 4pm)

    Location: ESO Offices (Fountain Lane)

    Please note that all places are already taken on this run of the event, but get in touch with the organisers if you want to learn more.

    Security Matters

    Vertical Structure and Instil deliver a wide range cyber security courses and consultancy for engineering teams. Some of these courses cover similar ground to this FREE workshop but in more depth, whilst others cover topics such as secure coding and threat modelling. For more details, check out the Instil Software and Vertical Structure websites.

    Source: Written from press release 

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