IT students from 21 universities competed at a Capture the Flag (CTF) competition and hackathon at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU) recently with the sponsorship support of Aion Cyber Security (Pvt) Ltd., as part of the Company’s continuing efforts to nurture cybersecurity talent in Sri Lanka.0
The competition was organised in collaboration with KDU’s IEEE WIE Student Branch Affinity Group which focuses on the promotion and betterment of women engineers. The students formed 24 teams to compete at this event which was also a platform to showcase their prowess in cyber security and get recognised for it while challenging themselves to learn new skills and work together.
While the CTF contest challenges focused specifically on cybersecurity, requiring participants to use their skills and knowledge to solve complex puzzles and challenges related to information security, the hackathon enabled participants with different backgrounds and skills to collaborate on creative technology projects within a limited time to create functional software products.
The winners of the competition were presented with cyber security training opportunities in the corporate sector, which could significantly broaden their careers, the Company said. Aion Cyber Security not only sponsored the event but also mentored the organisers on how to host a hackathon, and created the challenges for the competition. Notably, this was the first-ever CTF-Hackathon competition to be held at the KDU.
The event was designed to promote innovation, creativity, and learning in the technology and cybersecurity communities, as well as to provide participants with an opportunity to test and improve their skills in areas such as cryptography, web exploitation, forensics, and more. Additionally, the event aimed to encourage participants to work collaboratively and create a functional software product within a limited time frame, while forging networking opportunities with peers in the tech industry.
Commenting on the event, Mr Abbi Pilapitiya, CEO of Aion Cyber Security said: “Silicon Valley is the hot bed for IT entrepreneurship globally. The ecosystem is built around universities which gather innovative talent, venture capitalists who fund, and start-ups that commercialise the ideas and make money which in turn motivates the next batch of talent. This cycle uplifts the whole system spirally. This is the model we should replicate in Sri Lanka, and Aion is happy to partner with KDU to groom local cyber talent.”
Mr Priyantha Perera, Chairman of Aion Cyber Security and the Sierra Group added: “Cultivating local talent has always been a top priority for us. Whether it’s in engineering, construction, or cybersecurity, we aim to nurture Sri Lankan talent and provide the latest technology to take to the region. With established offices in Singapore, Australia, and the Middle East, we are well-positioned to generate opportunities from those markets and create avenues for Sri Lankan youth and professionals in the cybersecurity industry to serve in regional markets.”
Dr. Asela Gunasekara, the Dean of the Faculty of Computing and the Chief Counsellor of the IEEE Student Branch of KDU said: “Cyber security is regarded as the next frontier when it comes to modern warfare. KDU is an institution where we mould young talent to take responsibilities in the armed forces and the private sector alike. Hence it is imperative that we have such competitions to give them exposure. We are thankful to Aion Cyber Security for coming forward and assisting us in this endeavour.”
Earlier this year, Aion Cyber Security also hosted an awareness programme titled ‘Inside a Hacker’s Mind’ for over 100 cyber security professionals, with the participation of Ty Miller, the Director of the Sydney-based Threat Intelligence Pty Ltd., who has provided specialist cyber security training to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Department of Defense, military and intelligence agencies, and large technology and security companies around the world.
A subsidiary of Sierra Group, Aion Cyber Security was established in Sri Lanka just before the Covid-19 pandemic with the mission to nurture Sri Lankan talent for the growing needs of the industry. The Company offers Artificial Intelligence (AI) based bespoke cyber security management services supported by an expert Sri Lankan team consisting of industry-leading Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and consultants with more than 15 years of international expertise in cyber security, telecommunications, and information technology. Aion’s partners in the cyber security space include the Sierra Group, THREAT Intelligence Australia, and DELL Technologies. The Company has also embarked on talent pool development exercises where IT graduates are moulded into Cyber security professionals through training development with industry-level examinations.
ILO together with EFC launches pilot project to address employee grievances at the workplace
Five companies volunteer to participate in the project
By Sanath Nanayakkare
Grievance handling in Human Resource Management (HRM) refers to the process by which employee complaints, concerns, or disputes are formally addressed and resolved. The goal is to provide a structured channel for employees to express their concerns or report issues they are facing in the workplace for the benefit of the company, the management and the employees.
True to those values, the International Labour Organization (ILO) recently invited the Employers’ Federation of Ceylon (EFC) to initiate a pilot project to launch Grievance Handling Guidelines that were formulated through several workshops conducted in 2019 in consultation with ILO constituents.
Giriulla Mills Ltd, HNB Assurance Ltd, HNB General Insurance Ltd, Cambio Software Engineering and Taj Bentota Resort and Spa, volunteered to participate in this project. They represented the manufacturing, finance, IT, and hospitality sectors respectively. The pilot project was formally launched on 20th September 2022.
EFC’s team of trainers visited these selected companies and engaged in discussions with their management to gain insights into their existing employee grievance handling systems.
They also gathered feedback from employees to assess their satisfaction with present grievance mechanisms. Based on the findings, EFC team developed customised grievance handling policies aligned with each organisation’s culture and specific requirements of each company to ensure practical implementation of the same.
All these grievance policies were designed in adherence to the Guidelines on Grievance Handling which were established for Sri Lanka in 2019 through workshops conducted by the ILO.
Following the development of these policies, four training sessions were conducted for the management teams of the participating companies. During these training sessions, the policies were presented in detail. The sessions also aimed to provide a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes employee grievances, the importance of addressing them promptly and the potential consequences if grievances are left unattended.
In addition to policy dissemination, the training sessions also focused on equipping managers with the necessary skills to effectively handle employee grievances. This included discussions on communication strategies, conflict resolution techniques, and the importance of empathy and active listening when addressing employee concerns.
Rage Coffee forays into Sri Lanka market
The brand has secured investment from Virat Kohli
Rage Coffee, an internationally acclaimed coffee brand, was launched in Sri Lanka recently.
Originating in 2018 from the visionary mind of Bharat Sethi, Rage Coffee emerged to address the dearth of high-quality artisanal coffee in the Indian market. It fills the void with a unique plant-based, vitamin-enriched coffee selection.
A notable milestone for Rage Coffee was securing investment from Virat Kohli during its initial seed round. Kohli, known for his discerning brand choices, not only invested but also became the official brand ambassador, accentuating the brand’s quality.
Sourcing beans from Ethiopia and India, Rage crystallizes them, preserving a distinct nutty and earthy flavor profile. The brand’s proprietary blend, boasting 100% plant-based ingredients, eliminates harmful waste elements found in other leading coffees, prioritizing nutritional value. Each serving packs an impressive 120mg of caffeine, offering a superior boost to kickstart one’s day compared to standard brands.
NSB Nawala branch relocated at spacious new premises
NSB Nawala Branch which was relocated recently, was first established in the year 2003 and had been renowned for its customer service over a span of two decades.
Anoma Gomes, Deputy General Manager of National Savings Bank graced the occasion of the opening of the newly relocated Nawala Branch at the new address No. 221, Nawala Road, Nugegoda.
Furthermore, the former General Manager / CEO of NSB, Eastman Narangoda, Dr. Anura Wickramasinghe of the Open University of Sri Lanka, Dr. Hector Jayawardane graced the occasion as special invitees.
Higher Management of NSB and invited guests including Asst. General Manager – Nalika Wijesinghe, Regional Manager – Charini Ekanayake, Branch Manager of Nawala Branch – Chaminda Piyathilake also attended this event.
Equipped with ATM facilities and state-of-the-art banking facilities the relocated NSB Nawala Branch is housed in a spacious premises to deliver a supreme customer service catering to all the financial requirements of the public.
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