Security awareness challenge

Symantec has launched the 2003 information security awareness challenge, an online competition with lucrative prizes for the entrants who submit the most correct answers in the shortest time.

Scheduled for between March 3 and March 7, 2003, the information security awareness challenge will comprise 37 multiple choice questions in an "electronic quiz show" format about issues such as document storage and classification, correct use of passwords, virus protection and containment, disaster recovery and business continuity and compliance with privacy legislation.

According to John Donovan, managing director, Symantec Australia and New Zealand, to participate organisations must register at a cost of about $6 per user. First prize is a Ford Focus car and second prize is $10,000 cash. The next three prizes are a Sony home entertainment system, a three-day "luxury" holiday, and a Sony laptop computer, respectively. Donovan said that 10 per cent of the each organisation's entry fee will be returned to allow it to offer a cash prize to the best performing employee. In order to improve scores, individuals can complete the test, go away, do some research and complete it again, according to Donovan.

It is not a test skewed towards technical people, he added.

The online information security awareness challenge was developed by Melbourne-based education company Edusec. Simon Hewitt, CEO, Edusec, said that preliminary tests involving people from a dozen organisations showed that most people answered fewer than half the questions correctly. Information gathered will be aggregated and returned to participant organisations in order for them to benchmark their relative strengths and weaknesses.

In addition to Symantec and Edusec, organising bodies include the National Office for the Information Economy (NOIE) and the Attorney General's Department. For more information, go to www.securitychallenge.com.au.

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