María Gámez closes the II National League of challenges in Cyberspace

The General Director of the Civil Guard has given the name of the winning team of this edition, which has been HEAPPIES, made up of students from the Carlos III and Rey Juan Carlos Universities of Madrid and Menéndez Pelayo International

Almost 700 students from different Spanish autonomous communities have participated, in addition to components of police forces from 8 foreign countries

The godmother of this event this year was Teresa Perales, Paralympic medalist in adapted swimming and an authentic example of sacrifice and improvement

The participants in this edition have put their technical capacities and their legal and communication knowledge to the test to face a possible cyber challenge

The General Director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, today closed in Madrid the 2nd Edition of the National League of Challenges in Cyberspace (NationalCyberleague) organized by the Civil Guard for the second consecutive year.

The winner of this edition has been the HEAPPIES team made up of students from the Carlos III, Menéndez Pelayo and Rey Juan Carlos universities. The other two finalist teams have been H4CKSNOW (University of Valencia and University of Alcalá de Henares) AND CODESURGEONS (University of Murcia).

The general director began her speech by thanking the in-person attendees, the participants who were in the virtual world and the people who followed the new event through the Civil Guard channel on You Tube.

María Gaméz has highlighted the objectives of this event to promote a true culture of cybersecurity to face the threats that society faces in the cyber environment, as well as to visualize and attract the talent of young people, empower and promote it team work. And with this, improve the employability possibilities of these young people.

The Civil Guard, has assured, due to its commitment to citizenship, it did not renounce the organization of this event despite the complications due to the health crisis -which prevented its physical celebration and practically forced to reinvent the competition- and opted for its celebration in the virtual world.

On the other hand, the general director has indicated that in this edition it has been proposed to make women more visible in the field of new technologies and cybersecurity by the Women4Cyber ​​Foundation, which works for the development and integration of women in these spheres. Of the 400 participants who passed the qualifying phase and reached the semi-final, 22% are women. "Our intention is to continue moving towards real equality from all possible points of view."

In turn, the CEO has also emphasized the importance of technology and innovation as a basis for the global development of any society. Cybersecurity is key in the strategy of our Government, the European Union and the international community. And the Civil Guard, with the Cyber ​​League, is clearly committed to innovation and the future because this event applies modern technical and computer tools, both when developing the visual environment and the platform where the cyber challenges have been developed.

II National League of challenges in Cyberspace (NationalCyberleague)

Prior to the closing ceremony, Colonel Luis Fernando Hernández, technical manager of the project, explained the details of how the competition has been organized and developed from the moment of presentation at the end of September until its completion.

Beyond backing down in the celebration of the event, due to the current socio-health situation caused by COVID-19, the Civil Guard decided to continue with the project and not deprive our young students of the possibility of learn, enjoy and discover new professional opportunities.

As already stated in the presentation, it has been opted for the virtual celebration of the event, through a sophisticated computer platform that has allowed to recreate the event with total fidelity as if it were almost face-to-face, in which a multitude of events took place, especially conferences and exhibitions by companies. The virtual world was complemented with another challenge computing platform, where the participants developed the cyber-debris, perfectly recreating a cybersecurity incident. It is important to highlight that both technological tools belong to Spanish companies (WALCON and iHackLabs), in a clear commitment by the Civil Guard and the Government of Spain to promote the business and industrial fabric.

Virtual event

The surprise has been the generalized reaction among participants, guests and in general among all users who have accessed the virtual world where the event has taken place, because said environment allows reaching a very high degree of reality and interaction, through avatars that reproduce with great similarity each of the people who have accessed the virtual world. Some of the activities carried out in this environment include conferences, meetings or the exhibition of sponsors and collaborators.

Although the realization of virtual events is becoming widespread in recent times, the event developed by the Civil Guard has had an extra contribution of realism and interaction, thanks to the technological tool used and the great institutional setting achieved, since the environment It was largely reminiscent of the University Center of the Civil Guard, where the final of last year's edition took place.

Cyber ​​competition

Beyond the event held in the virtual world, the essence of the project has been the cyber-competition that has been carried out, since this has allowed the participants to demonstrate their knowledge, having to face different cyber-challenges in each of the the phases of the competition. The aforementioned challenges have had a special characteristic, which has been the multidisciplinary approach, bringing together different areas of cybersecurity: technical, regulatory and communicative aspects. Due to this special characteristic, teamwork has been the key to success, since individual profiles could not successfully cope with these types of challenges.

Development of the II National League of Challenges in Cyberspace

This novel initiative has had a fantastic reception among young students, university students and higher level vocational training students. Almost 700 students from different Spanish autonomous communities have participated in this edition, a very similar figure to last year, even more so taking into account the current limitations imposed by the pandemic.

To the figures of competitors, we have to add that of non-competing participants, people invited outside the age ranges established for competitors, who have reached almost 100 registered, among which 20 participants from Police Forces and Corps of 8 countries stand out. foreign.

The temporal sequence of development of the competition has been the following:

– Qualifying phase, with the total of participants (almost 700), held on November 5.
– Semifinal phase, where the 400 classified in the previous phase competed, held on December 15.
– Final phase, which was attended by the 100 best members of 20 teams, held on December 17.

Teresa Perales the godmother of the II Edition of the Ciberliga

Attending to the values ​​that constitute the essence of this novel initiative, spirit of sacrifice, companionship and improvement, Teresa Perales was chosen as godmother. Although Paralympic sport and its athletes are not as popular and well-known as they should be, the godmother was chosen for being a clear example of these values, representing an unmatched exponent of them, both in her personal and professional life. If any of the participants did not know Teresa Perales before, they will surely never forget her because she has left a mark on all of them through her motivational talks and improvement.

Visibility and equal opportunities

Cybersecurity is a phenomenon that does not understand territories or personal conditions of any kind, for this reason the Civil Guard has promoted, not only the participation of young students from all over our national territory, with representation from 15 Autonomous Communities, but also participants from 8 different countries in Europe and Latin America.
In addition to territorial diversity, and as a reflection of the work of the Civil Guard in matters of gender perspective, this project has promoted female participation, with the intention of contributing to reduce the gender gap in the field of cybersecurity and new technologies. For this, it has had the support of the Women4Cyber ​​Foundation, having achieved 23% female participation.
For more information, you can contact the Civil Guard Press Office on 915 146 010.

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