Among the participants of the first Cybersecurity Contest that we conducted at the Management Development Institute of Singapore in Tashkent in October 2021 (MDIS), five of them proved to be brilliant and creative minds, passionate about cybersecurity, thus winning the opportunity to join the team and undergo an internship in Italy.
After the contest, we had the chance to have a word with them, covering different topics – from their hobbies to their vision towards cybersecurity in 10 years. Read the interview below and cheers to the winners – Abdumalik Umarov, Muslim Azizov, Ravshan Rikhsiev, Shakhzod Akramov, Shokhruhbek Yursunjonov.
What was the reason for choosing cybersecurity?
The decision of the winners to undertake a course in cybersecurity stems from their desire to take on different challenges, such as keeping sensitive data secure from theft in today’s digital world and fighting ever-increasing cyber threats.
“Over the past decades, there has been a lot of news about successful international cyber-attacks. As I like to solve complex problems and participate in competitions, I decided to become a kind of cybersecurity guardian against the growing threats. The way information technology is developing and attackers are becoming more and more ingenious motivates me to improve my skills to address the emerging challenges” – Muslim Azizov, Tashkent University of Information Technologies
For how long have you been studying cyber security?
“I am a Bachelor student at the Tashkent University of Information Technologies. I have been studying cyber security for 3 years, but I have always been passionate about it” – Shokhruhbek Yursunjonov, Tashkent University of Information Technologies
The vision of the young minds towards cybersecurity in 5/10 years
According to the students, Artificial Intelligence and new AI-based attack vectors will be the most recurring topics.
“Cybersecurity will play an increasingly important role in our personal and professional life. Precisely because technology is developing fast, there has to be an evolution in terms of protection too. Hackers never doze off and they come up with gradually more complex attack vectors to penetrate, infiltrate or compromise companies’ ecosystems” – Ravshan Rikhsiev, Inha University in Tashkent
Their hobbies on top of cybersecurity
The winners listed several areas that grab their interest besides cybersecurity: from Python Libraries for Data Science to detective novels, from CTF challenges to PlayStation.
“My hobby is chess. Playing chess helps me to develop my logical thinking and imagination. It’s all about visualizing my possible moves and my opponent’s counter moves, mapping out a plan for further actions, and trying to figure out how the game will evolve” – Shakhzod Akramov, Tashkent University of Information Technologies
Feedback on Sababa Cybersecurity Contest alongside similar activities and their expectations
Although some of the students have already participated in other contests – not necessarily related to cybersecurity – others have never taken part in anything similar before.
“I didn’t take part in any similar contest before. I read about Sababa’s contest on my University’s telegram channel, which promoted it at the end of September. I registered, and started preparing, learning all I could about ransomware, SIEM, threat hunting, reverse engineering, and so on. The test consisted of an open question and several closed questions of a different level of complexity. Then Alessio Aceti announced the winners and interviewed each of us. It was amazing and fair” – Abdumalik Umarov, Inha University in Tashkent
We plan the next Sababa Cybersecurity Contest among the students in February 2022. Stay tuned!