Janssen Sciences sponsors Worldskills Ireland cybersecurity competition

14 Sep, 2022

Min read

Janssen and Cyber Skills team on the stairs in HQ

Janssen Sciences Ireland UC is sponsoring the national final of Worldskills Ireland when it takes to the RDS in Dublin this week.

The Worldskills competition aims to showcase excellence in a range of industries. Cybersecurity students and young professionals will join competitors from a range of skills, such as creative arts and fashion, information and communication technology, transport and logistics and social and personal services. Showcasing excellence within their field, the winner of the national final will win the coveted 2022 silver medal.

Janssen Sciences Ireland UC is part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies. The company’s support will see the addition of a newly developed cybersecurity category, which is set to debut at the upcoming national final of the Worldskills competition, running from the 13th to the 15th of September 2022.

“Software, and the use of digital solutions, are key enablers for the future growth and the digitalisation of our businesses”, said Gary Hartnett, general manager, Janssen Sciences Ireland. “As an organisation, we believe very strongly in investing in education and developing a talent pipeline for the future. We are delighted to be in a position to support Worldskills Ireland and enable the next generation of leaders to pursue their aspirations.”

Dr George O’Mahony, Worldskills Ireland expert for cybersecurity and Dylan Smyth, both lecturers in the Department of Computer Science at Munster Technological University, are leading in the development of the new cybersecurity competition development.

Outlining the selection process, Dr O’Mahony said: “The preliminary competition challenges the competitors in cybersecurity attack, defence and investigation. The calibre and work ethic of the competitors has been extremely high, and it is great to see every competitor accomplishing Worldskills standard tasks.

“The work ethic has continued throughout the mentoring stage, and we are excited to see how they will perform in the National Final at the RDS, where they will need to up their game in order to win the 2022 HEA Silver Medal.”

To prepare the competitors for the upcoming national final, the lecturers will utilise a sophisticated cybersecurity infrastructure called a cyber-range, available through Cyber Skills, Ireland’s only cybersecurity education provider to use this state-of-the-art infrastructure. The cyber-range has the ability to test the competitors’ skills by simulating cybersecurity attacks. This provides the competitors with a realistic experience when combatting threats and solving challenges.

Prof Donna O’Shea, chair of Cybersecurity at Munster Technological University said: “Now, more than ever, cybersecurity skills are critically important to the success of enterprise. This is a fantastic opportunity for Ireland to showcase our talented young professionals on a global stage. The competition focuses on the critical requirements for a successful career in cybersecurity and provides an opportunity to highlight the importance of cybersecurity skills and professionals in our everyday lives, who protect our businesses, government, and citizens from cyber-attacks.”

Over the course of the 2022 Worldskills events in Ireland, which included two preliminary rounds, an online team selection in April and the in-person final in the RDS, a team of two will be selected to compete on the world stage. The pair will compete in the cyber security skill as part of team Ireland at the global WorldSkills competition special edition, which is to be held in Korea in October. This will be the first time that an Irish team will participate in the cyber security skill category at the global competition.

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