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University of Auckland students’ cybercrime solution presented in Malaysia

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16 May 2022

A group of Mechatronics and Computer Systems students at the University of Auckland were recently sponsored by Hilti to go to Malaysia to present their idea for improving cybersecurity awareness.

Hilti’s annual IT Competition (ITC) encourages students of all disciplines around the world to come up with innovative IT solutions to overcome challenges faced by the construction industry. This year’s competition posed the question of how to utilise staff to prevent cyberattacks. Competition organisers briefed participants that employees are often considered crucial to detecting malicious activities. The competition asked participants to use modern teaching techniques, such as gamification, to develop a cybersecurity awareness campaign to ensure employees are engaged and can easily absorb necessary information and skills. 

The University of Auckland’s team, Cyberdyne Systems, consisted of students Katrina Chan, Anthony Mulder, Ruby Osborne, Rory Reade and Matthew Welcome. The team formed as a result of an opportunity email sent from the Faculty of Engineering’s Student Development and Engagement Manager. Katrina says “I thought there was a lot of potential in this competition and despite the prospect of travelling to Malaysia as a finalist feeling so far-fetched, I knew there was no harm in trying.” After some effort, she was able to convince already busy friends to form a team. 

Cyberdyne Systems entry, Skynet, specialises in protecting employees against phishing emails. They created an outlook add-in which allows Hilti employees to report phishing emails and earn rewards in doing so. The add-in also allows employees to see their placing on the leaderboard, accuracy and remaining report attempts. Cyberdyne Systems also created an administrator interface which allows the Hilti management team to fine-tune the phishing settings and to send out fake phishing emails from within the company.

Katrina says that the experience of competing in Malaysia was memorable.“Pitching our idea in front of a crowd was an extremely proud moment for me. I was proud of our team and all the long nights of work they’ve put into coding and designing our prototype. I loved the thrill of it and the interaction from the audience made us feel welcomed and encouraged. The lights and stage and music were all state-of-the-art and it just made the entire experience one to never forget.”

Ruby says “I was extremely nervous before presenting due to a lack of experience. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity because I now feel more confident and able to do speeches elsewhere. Dare I say it, I now enjoy the challenge of public speaking.”

Cyberdyne Systems placed third in the Hilti IT Competition, out of 200 teams, entitling them to technology prizes and the chance of an internship at Hilti. The team are now looking into further developing their solution to make it more versatile and are exploring a wide range of development opportunities, including through the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They have all done inductions and workshops at Unleash Space and the maker space and are looking at possibly participating in the Velocity entrepreneurship development programme this year.

University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education
University of Auckland wins international award for entrepreneurship education

social media

16 May 2022

A group of Mechatronics and Computer Systems students at the University of Auckland were recently sponsored by Hilti to go to Malaysia to present their idea for improving cybersecurity awareness.

Hilti’s annual IT Competition (ITC) encourages students of all disciplines around the world to come up with innovative IT solutions to overcome challenges faced by the construction industry. This year’s competition posed the question of how to utilise staff to prevent cyberattacks. Competition organisers briefed participants that employees are often considered crucial to detecting malicious activities. The competition asked participants to use modern teaching techniques, such as gamification, to develop a cybersecurity awareness campaign to ensure employees are engaged and can easily absorb necessary information and skills. 

The University of Auckland’s team, Cyberdyne Systems, consisted of students Katrina Chan, Anthony Mulder, Ruby Osborne, Rory Reade and Matthew Welcome. The team formed as a result of an opportunity email sent from the Faculty of Engineering’s Student Development and Engagement Manager. Katrina says “I thought there was a lot of potential in this competition and despite the prospect of travelling to Malaysia as a finalist feeling so far-fetched, I knew there was no harm in trying.” After some effort, she was able to convince already busy friends to form a team. 

Cyberdyne Systems entry, Skynet, specialises in protecting employees against phishing emails. They created an outlook add-in which allows Hilti employees to report phishing emails and earn rewards in doing so. The add-in also allows employees to see their placing on the leaderboard, accuracy and remaining report attempts. Cyberdyne Systems also created an administrator interface which allows the Hilti management team to fine-tune the phishing settings and to send out fake phishing emails from within the company.

Katrina says that the experience of competing in Malaysia was memorable.“Pitching our idea in front of a crowd was an extremely proud moment for me. I was proud of our team and all the long nights of work they’ve put into coding and designing our prototype. I loved the thrill of it and the interaction from the audience made us feel welcomed and encouraged. The lights and stage and music were all state-of-the-art and it just made the entire experience one to never forget.”

Ruby says “I was extremely nervous before presenting due to a lack of experience. I am so grateful to have had this opportunity because I now feel more confident and able to do speeches elsewhere. Dare I say it, I now enjoy the challenge of public speaking.”

Cyberdyne Systems placed third in the Hilti IT Competition, out of 200 teams, entitling them to technology prizes and the chance of an internship at Hilti. The team are now looking into further developing their solution to make it more versatile and are exploring a wide range of development opportunities, including through the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. They have all done inductions and workshops at Unleash Space and the maker space and are looking at possibly participating in the Velocity entrepreneurship development programme this year.


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