Microsoft Cybersecurity 2020 Student Essay Contest is offering $10,000 in prizes

Microsoft is inviting entries for Cybersecurity 2020 Student Essay Contest. If declared a winner, you can win a prize of $5000 cash. It’s a good opportunity for students who can provide better ideas on the future of Cybersecurity policy. The aim of this contest is to choose policies that can provide a great outcome in managing cyber risk across globe.

Cybersecurity 2020 Student Essay Contest


Even though Cybersecurity is not a new term for governments, not many know how policy choices impact cyber risk outcomes. Though there have been significant investments made on developments and implementation of cybersecurity policy regimes, cybercriminals continue to pose challenges on the security of information systems across the globe. With this in mind, policymakers face a huge challenge in choosing policies that can have a positive impact in managing cyber policies.

Today, the cyber ecosystem is experiencing tremendous transformation. See how internet has grown in Asia, Africa and Latin American; you have a proliferation of connected devices, and the huge rise in internet traffic tells us how rapidly internet world is reforming. This reform is likely to present new opportunities but at the same time new risks. So we have to prepare ourselves with better policies to manage them effectively.

About the contest

Microsoft is looking for original research about these cybersecurity policy changes from university students. Specifically, research should address one or both of the following questions; in both instances, preference will be given to responses that integrate quantitative analysis using publically-available cybersecurity data and research, such as Microsoft’s Security Intelligence Report (SIR):

  1.       Which cybersecurity policy choices have the most impact on cybersecurity outcomes and, based upon your  answer, are there “actionable” recommendations for policymakers?

  • For example, have national-level regimes for securing government networks had a meaningful impact on cybersecurity?  How might those regimes be improved?
  • Additionally, for example, can cybersecurity policies impact user-level security?  And if so, how?

2.       Given the growth in people, devices, and data connected to the Internet, how should policymakers adapt current approaches, and are there elements missing from the current policy landscape that should be created, or existing instruments that should be deprecated?

  • For example, many global-level cybersecurity policy regimes were created when most Internet users were based on North America and Europe; will the rise in Internet users in Asia, Africa, and Latin America require changes to these regimes?
  • Additionally, for example, cybersecurity policies have been optimized for a desktop-centric world, where the computing machine, their operating systems, and often their users were fixed within a geography.  What changes are necessary to accommodate a more mobile-based world?

Prizes to be won

Top three essays will be awarded with cash prizes from the Microsoft with 1st placed getting $5000, 2nd placed $3000 while the 3rd placed will be awarded with $2000.

How do I Enter

To participate in the contest you have to send an email to with your essay in Microsoft Word format. Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on June 14, 2013. For more information please see Official Rules of the contest.

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Ankit Gupta is a writer by profession and has more than 7 years of global writing experience on technology and other areas. He follows technological developments and likes to write about Windows & IT security. He has a deep liking for wild life and has written a book on Top Tiger Parks of India.

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