María Gámez in the presentation of the II National League of Challenges in Cyberspace: "Cybersecurity is key not only in the strategy of our Government, but in the entire European Union and the international community"

The General Director of the Civil Guard has presented today in Madrid the II National League of Challenges in Cyberspace, organized by the Civil Guard

The godmother of this event this year is Teresa Perales, Paralympic medalist in adapted swimming

Participants will have to test their technical skills and legal and communication knowledge to face a possible cyber challenge

Registration for this first edition is now open and the competition will take place from October

The General Director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez today presented in Madrid the 2nd National League of Challenges in Cyberspace (NationalCyberleague) organized by the Civil Guard.

The Director General began her speech by thanking the in-person attendees and the people who followed the presentation through the Civil Guard YouTube channel.

María Gámez highlighted that one of these challenges is to promote a true culture of cybersecurity, to face the threats and vulnerabilities that society faces in the cyber environment. At this point, the Cyber ​​League – the National League of Challenges in Cyberspace – enters the scene, which last year celebrated its first edition with great success. In this sense, he has pointed out that due to the situation of COVID19, this event cannot be in person, so the Civil Guard has introduced the necessary changes to make its celebration possible.

The Director General has stressed the importance of this Cyber ​​League, because technology and innovation – the basis for the global development of any society – are a priority for the Civil Guard. “We cannot forget that cybersecurity is key not only in the strategy of our Government, but in the entire European Union and the international community, and an initiative like this paves the way to generate collective intelligence, necessary to mitigate the threats in today's world. ”.

“The objective of this event is to visualize and capture the talent of young people, reward them and encourage teamwork. It is a meeting point for all relevant actors in cybersecurity, with the clear aim of joining forces and achieving synergies ”, stressed María Gámez.

The threats that loom over cyberspace do not understand borders or territories, they are global. That is why they must be approached from a multidisciplinary perspective. The challenges posed to the participants are not limited to technical aspects, but also to the legal and communication field, a circumstance that encourages the participation of users of different profiles who will have to join forces to overcome the challenges.

In this sense, María Gámez has said that teamwork is one of the keys and one of the values ​​of the Ciberliga. "Unity, companionship, like cybersecurity requires the collaboration of all the actors involved, whether public or private, the Cyber ​​League as well."

The current sanitary restrictions have been a serious condition for the development of this initiative as it was designed last year, which was totally face-to-face: in 15 university centers throughout Spain during the qualifying phase, and in the University Center of the Civil Guard during the grand finale. The nature of this event, therefore, is transformed by abandoning the face-to-face environment to move it to a completely virtual environment through a sophisticated computer platform.

Within these challenges of modernity and innovation, the Civil Guard has established itself as a leading player in these matters and will hold a completely virtual event that will allow interaction between all the actors involved, in addition to promoting the industrial and business fabric of our country.

A point that the Director General wanted to highlight is that this second edition of the National League of Challenges in Cyberspace is internationalized and is open to the participation of Security Forces and Bodies from other countries. Among others, there have been contacts with the National Police of Colombia to define a non-competitive participant profile. An incorporation that allows the exchange of experiences in the field of cybersecurity, and at the same time, to strengthen ties of friendship and collaboration.

Finally, María Gámez has insisted that the true protagonists of this initiative are young people, both university students and those in Higher Level Vocational Training. "We want to locate and enhance their talent, orient their efforts towards the needs of public and private organizations, and in this way, also, improve their employability possibilities in the future."

The General Director has introduced the one who will be the “godmother” of this initiative, the Paralympic swimmer Teresa Perales, of whom she has said that she knows well the importance of effort and the ability to overcome to 'navigate' – in her case, swim- against the current. Timing, speed or technique, but above all determination and that spirit of improvement, are strengths of this godmother, as they are also key to entering the Cyber ​​League.

Teresa Perales, who has connected by video conference, has started her words thanking the work that the Civil Guard is carrying out for the benefit of citizens during these months of pandemic. She has also shown her satisfaction at having been chosen as the godmother of such an important initiative aimed at young people, whom she has encouraged to participate, to take up the challenge and not to see anything impossible in life.

II National League of challenges in Cyberspace (NationalCyberleague)

Colonel Luis Hernández has explained the details of how the Cyber ​​League is going to be in this edition. Due to the current situation caused by COVID-19, when the in-person celebration of the event is ruled out, it will take place in a virtual environment. For this reason, it will be developed through the Walcon virtual platform, with the intention of recreating in a virtual world all the aspects offered by a face-to-face event. This will make the project have two fundamental parts, the virtual event and the cybercompetition.

Virtual event

The aforementioned platform provides a meeting place where all participants, sponsors, collaborators and guests will be able to get to know a little better the Civil Guard and all those public organizations and private companies that have a prominent role in the field of cybersecurity, and that in turn they also contribute to making this initiative possible. The form of interaction by users is very varied, since it allows visiting the different “stands” enabled, participating in conferences or other various activities that allow an exchange of impressions.

The realization of virtual events is beginning to become widespread in the private sector, but nevertheless it is something very new within the public administration.

Cyber ​​competition

Apart from the virtual event itself, which represents an added aspect to the project, this initiative has its main essence in the celebration of a cyber-competition based on the realization of a multidisciplinary challenge by the participants. Access to the challenge is carried out through the aforementioned platform, but it is not executed on it, but on another computer platform specially designed for this type of competition, called iHackLabs.

The multidisciplinary nature of the challenge is defined because it not only consists of a technical part, but also others of a legal and communication nature, all drawn up with the support and advice of experts from different fields (INCIBE, State Attorney General and the DIRCOM Association, among others). In this way, it is not only about making a team and fostering camaraderie among the participants, since to successfully face the challenge it is necessary to have a team that brings together different knowledge profiles, but also to convey to them that success in terms of Cybersecurity is achieved with a multidisciplinary approach.

Development of the II National League of Challenges in Cyberspace

Taking as a reference the success of participation in the edition of I League of Challenges in Cyberspace that took place between the months of September and November, with two differentiated phases, a qualifying (held alternately) in 15 university centers distributed by the entire national geography and another final one at the Civil Guard University Center in Aranjuez and which had a total of approximately 750 participants, of which 100 were selected to participate in the final phase.

For this edition, the following time milestones have been established for the development of the project:

  • Qualifying phase, scheduled for the end of October.
  • Semifinal phase, scheduled for mid-November.
  • Final phase, to be held a few days after the semifinal, with a maximum of 80 participants in 20 teams.

Regarding the empowerment of young people's talent, it is important to note that between the qualifying phase and the semi-final, participants will undergo a mentoring process, led by accredited experts in cybersecurity, who will work together to improve their competences in the matter.

A web page has been created where interested parties can obtain all the practical information to register: https://www.nationalcyberleague.es

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