Press "Enter" to skip to content

Microsoft Cybersecurity International Student Essay Contest

Are you a student with great ideas on the future of cyber security policy? Have you conducted research on how to measure the security impact of policies around the world? If so, read on for how you can win $5,000 cash for your research in this essay contest.

Microsoft is looking for great student research on the future of cybersecurity policy. If you have conducted or plan to conduct such research, read on for information on how you can win a $5,000 cash prize for your research in our Cybersecurity 2020 essay contest.

Cybersecurity is a policy priority for many governments but there is limited understanding of whether and how policy choices impact cyber risk outcomes. While many countries have made significant investments in the development and implementation of cybersecurity policy regimes, cybercriminals continue to make headway. At the same time, the cyber ecosystem is undergoing tremendous change. The growth in Internet users across Asia, Africa, and Latin America; the proliferation of connected devices; and the explosive rise in Internet traffic are just a few of the mega-trends reshaping the Internet.


In light of these challenges, we are looking for original research about these cybersecurity policy challenges from university students. Specifically, research should address one or both of the following questions:

    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?

    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?

Students Research Organizer

Microsoft Corporation

 1st place – $5,000
 2nd place – $3,000
 3rd place – $2,000
June 14, 2013

     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).
    This Contest is hosted in the United States, and entry information is collected on computers in the United States. This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any      disputes arising out of this Contest.
    This is a skill-based Contest. The object of this contest is to bring to light innovative research about the future of cyber security policies worldwide via an essay. All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

    You are eligible to enter this Contest if you meet the following requirements at time entry:

#You are 18 years of age or older and are actively enrolled as a student at an accredited educational institution that grants college/university (or equivalent) degrees at any time between March 21, 2013 and June 14, 2013 OR you graduated from an accredited educational institution that grants college/university (or equivalent) degrees between March 21, 2013 and June 14, 2013; and
#If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest; and
#You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
#You are NOT an employee of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
#You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and exe cution of this Contest; and
#You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.

    In order to participate in this Contest, you must write a 5-15 page essay in English that conforms to the content/technical guidelines below. When your essay is complete, email it to [email protected] with the following information: first name, last name, email address, and school / university.
    We will only accept three (3) entries per person but each essay must be substantially unique and different.
    We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.
    To be eligible for judging an entry must meet the following content / technical requirements:

#Your entry must be in English
#Your entry must be a minimum 5 pages double spaced (not including appendices)
#You entry cannot exceed 15 pages (not including appendices)
#Your essay must be submitted in Microsoft Word or PDF format
#Your essay must address the following topics: cybersecurity policy, measurement of cybersecurity outcomes, societal and technological trends that will impact cybersecurity
#your entry must be your own original work; and
#your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
#you must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and
#your entry may not include any third party trademarks (logos, names) or copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people) unless you have obtained permission to use the materials. You may include Microsoft trademarks, logos, and designs, for which Microsoft grants you a limited license to use for the sole purposes of submitting an entry into this Contest.

 Also, visit the Microsoft Global Security Strategy and Diplomacy website to learn how this team works collaboratively with governments, multilateral organizations, industry, and non-profit groups to enhance security across the cyberecosystem.

Got a question? Send an email to [email protected]

credit: Naija Writers Coach