Security Training Gamification App Wins First Place in Kaspersky Academy Talent Lab

Woburn, MA – March 13, 2017Kaspersky Lab, a global cybersecurity company, today announced the winners of its Kaspersky Academy Talent Lab, an international competition for university students and young professionals aged 18-30. First place was awarded to the U.S.-based creators of a gamification app designed to raise information security awareness among millennial users.

Grand prize winners Daniel Kapellmann Zafra and Dania Tanzil received a $10,000 grant for their joint application concept within the framework of “Security Beyond Anti-Virus,” which demonstrates the importance of user education and adaptivity in the future of cybersecurity. The concept leverages the Kaspersky Personal Security Trainer application to provide millennials with increased cybersecurity awareness, teaching users best practices while receiving guidance on different services offered by the company. The U.S. team’s strategy is to engage customers with a gamification scheme combined with continuous training and support, along with peer-to-peer sharing incentives inviting users to protect their devices and those of their acquaintances.

Talent Lab is an international competition for university students and young professionals, launched in August 2016. The initiative aims to solve topical cybersecurity challenges with competitors’ technical and creative talents. In total, more than 1,400 participants from all over the world registered for the competition. For the main round, 32 projects were selected: 17 in the technical steam and 15 in the non-technical category. Eight teams reached the final round.

The winners were chosen at a finalists’ event at Kaspersky Lab headquarters in Moscow on March 10, where authors of top submissions from the U.S., Germany, Russia and Kazakhstan presented their projects to an expert jury. Finalists also had a tour of Kaspersky Lab headquarters, including a visit to the antivirus lab and meetings with Kaspersky Lab experts.

“Cybersecurity is a very attractive industry to young people, but it’s very difficult for new entrants to find their way into the field, which results in a lack of experts across the world,” said Dmitry Postelnik, head of educational programs, Kaspersky Lab. “At Kaspersky Academy, we run a number of education programs worldwide to support young talent in IT security. We search for and encourage talented young people, giving them an opportunity to be noticed and to develop their knowledge and skills in cybersecurity.”

The technical judging criteria of Talent Lab included practical tasks in areas such as anti-malware research, cybersecurity solutions development, mobile security, cyber physical systems, Internet of Things, kids’ online security and security awareness. The most popular technical submissions were: ‘Smart Wear/Clothing and Smart Home Solutions’ and ‘Securing Wi-Fi worldwide’. Non-technical assessments required participants to work on challenges in consumer marketing, web content analysis, conceptual design and edutainment. The most topical non-technical tasks included: ‘Storytelling Comics about Cybersecurity,’ ‘Application Concept for the Mobile Security’ and ‘The Study of Children’s Behavior on Social Networks.’ Kaspersky Lab experts mentored all participants during the competition.

For more information on the Kaspersky Academy Talent Lab, please visit