RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, May 4, 2016 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) in collaboration with King Saud University (KSU) hosted its second annual cyber security competition last week, known as CyberArabia, for students across Saudi universities. The program – part of the company's global commitment to cyber education and workforce development – was held on April 18 – 19 and included a cyber defense competition that recognized winners on both the men's and women's campuses.

A photo gallery from the competition can be found here .

This year's competition grew from approximately 70 participants in 2015 to a capacity group of more than 140 including students from Prince Sultan University, Princess Nora University and others.

"We are very pleased with the growth and success of CyberArabia this year," said Walid Abukhaled, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Middle East Region. "Any lasting solution to the threats posed by cyber attacks begins with a foundation in science, technology, engineering and math education coupled with cyber security awareness and training. We were delighted to work with the outstanding students across the Kingdom and faculty of King Saud University to once again bring this unique and powerful program to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

During the hands-on instruction portion of the workshop, students from both the men's and women's campus used a simulated Windows system as instructors demonstrated important cyber security principles such as encryption, account management and security tools like firewalls and anti-malware.

Then, students put their skills to the test and broke into teams for a cyber defense competition. Teams were charged with hardening virtual networks and implementing security policies. Teams were scored on how fast and thoroughly they identified and remediated cyber vulnerabilities and intrusions – similar to what a cyber defender would do to protect information and networks. The top team from each day's competition received a CyberArabia Team Champion trophy and a cash award of 18,000 SAR.

The competition was modeled after the U.S. CyberPatriot Youth Cyber Defense Competition, a program created by the Air Force Association, a nonprofit organization advocating for education, and presented by the Northrop Grumman Foundation.

"The students were thoroughly engaged in learning about cyber defense and how these new skills can lead to amazing opportunities in the field of cyber security," said Diane Miller, director, Global Cyber Education and Workforce Development Programs, Northrop Grumman. "The students were a diverse mix of majors including computer science, information technology, information systems and software engineering. That diversity of knowledge, skills and experience, combined with effective collaboration and communication, helped each team achieve its best."

Northrop Grumman is advancing cyber education and training around the world. On April 12, the foundation, in partnership with AFA, presented, the 8 th Annual CyberPatriot competition in Baltimore, Maryland. On April 26, in partnership with Cyber Security Challenge U.K., Northrop Grumman sponsored CyberCenturion , a U.K. version of CyberPatriot at the National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park.

Added Miller: "Working with KSU, we were able to host an impactful session that I'm confident will help these students launch their own cyber careers and do their part to keep the Kingdom safe from the growing and ever-evolving cyber threat."

Northrop Grumman is committed to preparing tomorrow's cyber workforce and is engaged in supporting numerous cyber security education, training and technology initiatives globally. For more information on Northrop Grumman in cyber, click here .

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.