Kaspersky held the final round of its international Secur’IT Cup student competition

On December 13, Kaspersky held the final round of its international Secur’IT Cup student competition, in which young cybersecurity researchers submit innovative ideas that address specific cybersecurity problems. The winner of the 2023 contest is the "Net.Resources" team, which came up with and successfully pitched the “PeTTly” project, a comprehensive pet care solution integrated into the systems of IoT devices to track a pet's vital signs.

This year, participants were invited to submit projects in four categories: Gaming & Geeks, Fintech, Tracking & Security of people and things, and Family Care. More than 850 students from nearly 30 countries in North America, Europe, the META, Russia and CIS, and APAC regions submitted projects as part of the competition, with the majority of entries received from Egypt, India, Kenya, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore. The Fintech category gained the most interest and major projects’ submissions.

In the finals, the international jury evaluated the ideas of 10 participants from Kenya, Mauritius, Nigeria, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore, who qualified in the contest’s final round from both the global and regional streams of the competition. The participants’ main task was to pitch their project in an online session, during which they were challenged by questions from the jury comprised of Kaspersky cybersecurity experts, including the members of the Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT), representatives from Chulalongkorn University, the Singapore Institute of Technology, the CyberTalents non-profit organization, and the co-winner of the Secur’IT Cup ’22.

The projects were assessed based on eight criteria: accordance with the track, unique selling proposition, technical feasibility, business-canva (a.k.a. business model), prototype, security level of the technology, patentability, scalability and readiness for deployment, and the quality of the pitch. Participants could also score additional points for minimum viable product (MVP) /speed of MVP preparation. Based on the above criteria, “PeTTly” by the "Net.Resources" team was selected as the best project, winning the grand prize of US$10,000. “PeTTly” is a comprehensive pet care solution, that integrates all areas of maintenance for pets into a single system. It allows IoT devices to track and manage a treasured animal’s vital signs.

“I am thrilled that Secur`IT Cup allowed me to bring my idea to life. A special thank you to the competition mentors for guiding my project in the right direction. I hope this event continues to grow and provide students with the opportunity to turn their business ideas into reality,” commented Maxim Boiko, member of the "Net.Resources" team.

The “Health Code Medical Archive” by students from Kenya and Mauritius was took second place, winning US$3,000 and access to one of the Kaspersky Expert Trainings. The team presented a health record system designed to ease the burden on healthcare services and empower caregivers in their region, where this issue is not solved yet by any technological solution.

The “SKOOF_life” team from Russia introduced “Trust-factor transaction authentication” – a service that banks could offer clients to protect them from poor financial decisions, unauthorized usage of their money and social engineering. The service reacts if the number of transaction frequency and cash withdrawn is higher than in the established security rules of the bank. Winning in third place, the team also received access to any course from the Kaspersky Expert Training portfolio.

In the special People’s Choice nomination, the “Falcon Digital” team from Saudi Arabia was recognized for their “AI-PhishGaurd” project – a machine learning (ML) powered phishing detection and alert suite.

Held on an annual basis, the Secur’IT Cup has been running since 2018, uniting young talent worldwide around the topic of cybersecurity and offering them a chance to design and implement their technological concepts that help solve acute online security risks. More than 6,000 youngsters from all around the world have taken part in the competition since it was created. In 2022, the competition was won by the team from the National University of Singapore and Singapore Institute of Technology, which proposed a solution aimed at improving mobile application security development.

The Secur’IT Cup is a project of Kaspersky Academy, which promotes worldwide knowledge of cybersecurity, supporting young talent in IT and contributing to the development of high-quality cybersecurity educational programs. To find out more about the competition and the Academy’s other initiatives, please visit https://academy.kaspersky.com/.