Aion sponsors KDU’s ‘Capture the Flag’

IT students from 21 universities competed at a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition and hackathon at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) recently with the sponsorship support of Aion Cyber Security (Pvt) Ltd., as part of the Company’s continuing efforts to nurture cybersecurity talent in Sri Lanka.0

The competition was organised in collaboration with KDU’s IEEE WIE Student Branch Affinity Group which focuses on the promotion and betterment of women engineers. The students formed 24 teams to compete at this event which was also a platform to showcase their prowess in cyber security and get recognised for it while challenging themselves to learn new skills and work together.

While the CTF contest challenges focused specifically on cybersecurity, requiring participants to use their skills and knowledge to solve complex puzzles and challenges related to information security, the hackathon enabled participants with different backgrounds and skills to collaborate on creative technology projects within a limited time to create functional software products.

The winners of the competition were presented with cyber security training opportunities in the corporate sector, which could significantly broaden their careers, the Company said. Aion Cyber Security not only sponsored the event but also mentored the organisers on how to host a hackathon, and created the challenges for the competition. Notably, this was the first-ever CTF-Hackathon competition to be held at the KDU.

The event was designed to promote innovation, creativity, and learning in the technology and cybersecurity communities, as well as to provide participants with an opportunity to test and improve their skills in areas such as cryptography, web exploitation, forensics, and more. Additionally, the event aimed to encourage participants to work collaboratively and create a functional software product within a limited time frame, while forging networking opportunities with peers in the tech industry.

Commenting on the event, Mr Abbi Pilapitiya, CEO of Aion Cyber Security said: “Silicon Valley is the hot bed for IT entrepreneurship globally. The ecosystem is built around universities which gather innovative talent, venture capitalists who fund, and start-ups that commercialise the ideas and make money which in turn motivates the next batch of talent. This cycle uplifts the whole system spirally. This is the model we should replicate in Sri Lanka, and Aion is happy to partner with KDU to groom local cyber talent.”

Mr Priyantha Perera, Chairman of Aion Cyber Security and the Sierra Group added: “Cultivating local talent has always been a top priority for us. Whether it’s in engineering, construction, or cybersecurity, we aim to nurture Sri Lankan talent and provide the latest technology to take to the region. With established offices in Singapore, Australia, and the Middle East, we are well-positioned to generate opportunities from those markets and create avenues for Sri Lankan youth and professionals in the cybersecurity industry to serve in regional markets.”

Dr. Asela Gunasekara, the Dean of the Faculty of Computing and the Chief Counsellor of the IEEE Student Branch of KDU said: “Cyber security is regarded as the next frontier when it comes to modern warfare. KDU is an institution where we mould young talent to take responsibilities in the armed forces and the private sector alike. Hence it is imperative that we have such competitions to give them exposure. We are thankful to Aion Cyber Security for coming forward and assisting us in this endeavour.”

Earlier this year, Aion Cyber Security also hosted an awareness programme titled ‘Inside a Hacker’s Mind’ for over 100 cyber security professionals, with the participation of Ty Miller, the Director of the Sydney-based Threat Intelligence Pty Ltd., who has provided specialist cyber security training to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Department of Defense, military and intelligence agencies, and large technology and security companies around the world.

A subsidiary of Sierra Group, Aion Cyber Security was established in Sri Lanka just before the Covid-19 pandemic with the mission to nurture Sri Lankan talent for the growing needs of the industry. The Company offers Artificial Intelligence (AI) based bespoke cyber security management services supported by an expert Sri Lankan team consisting of industry-leading Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and consultants with more than 15 years of international expertise in cyber security, telecommunications, and information technology. Aion’s partners in the cyber security space include the Sierra Group, THREAT Intelligence Australia, and DELL Technologies. The Company has also embarked on talent pool development exercises where IT graduates are moulded into Cyber security professionals through training development with industry-level examinations.

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