Computing success at InnovationFest

Final year BSc Computer Networks and Security student, Marcus Jeffes, has been awarded first place for 'Innovation in Cybersecurity & Networks', at our annual InnovationFest. The prize was for his dissertation project with cloud computing company, UKFast. We asked Marcus about his project and what made it stand out from the crowd…

How did you think of this idea?

I worked closely with my lecturer, Stephen Murphy on ideas for projects. Stephen had some contacts at UKFast and so I decided to develop a concept for them. UKFast hosts servers for businesses online and they required a new vulnerability scanner manager system. The outline for the project was initially set by UKFast and developed using resources supplied by open source vendors. The development of the idea was also helped by the BCU Summon search engine which gives university students access to a vast amount of databases we would not otherwise have access to.

What was your project about?

UKFast wanted correlation of vulnerability scanners under a management system using open source solutions. I did this through using Flask as the base framework for building the application. Once the REST API was triggered for a particular scan, it would then contact the server and run a scan on a given range of specified scans.

The business’ clients will use this system to ensure thorough recognisance of their systems; event logging; data analytics; information based on scans run within time frames and auditing.

How did your project get nominated for the InnovationFest prize?

My lecturer nominated me and I was delighted to win as many students had entered the competition with great ideas and projects. To me, it meant I had really achieved something of high standing and gave me a sense of achievement knowing my work was being recognised for the quality I thought it was.

What were the benefits of being involved in InnovationFest?

As well as winning a £200 prize, it was a great opportunity to present my final year project in front of a range of employers and experts. I have connected with a lot of these on LinkedIn and I think it’s a valuable time to build these links now that I am graduating.

How has this project benefited your future?

I have a presentation in a few weeks’ time with UKFast to show them my work and hope this will open the door to continue working with them as I have really enjoyed the project. I have had the opportunity to develop a product that businesses will use and has real-life impact.

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