Cyber Discovery course

by Mark Rowe

An online ‘Cyber Discovery‘ course for teenagers to think about a career in cyber security will continue for a second year, and be extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland, after a first year in England.

Over 23,000 young people aged 14 to 18 have taken part; interactive games teach about cyber such as digital forensics, defending against web attacks and cryptography in an accessible way. Those who perform at the highest levels, will also have the opportunity to attend a summer camp.

Minister for Digital Margot James said: “We need to inspire young people and show them a career in Cyber Security can be exciting and rewarding, not only to give them more opportunities but also help build a talented workforce for the future. The Cyber Discovery programme has been a great success so far. I hope more teenagers will take part and learn that those working in cyber security can come from any walk of life, and have studied any subject.”

It’s delivered by IT security training company the SANS Institute. SANS Head of Research and Development James Lyne said: “Based on the success of last year’s Cyber Discovery programme, it’s clear there’s both the appetite and the aptitude to learn about cyber security in the UK. Before taking part in Cyber Discovery 40.4pc of female students and 35.5pc of male students hadn’t even considered a career in cyber security. This dropped to 9.6pc and 6.3pc respectively after these students took part in the programme. And many of the club leaders who are also computer science teachers, told us they used Cyber Discovery last year to complement their lesson plans. We hope to extend this enthusiasm and passion for cyber security across the the UK in year two.”

Registration and completion of the first assessment phase closes on January 7. Visit


Rob Norris, Vice President of Enterprise and Cyber Security, Fujitsu said: “In a world of connected devices, and increasingly AI and machine learning, the security landscape is seeing exponential growth with attack techniques and sectors changing at an alarming rate. In light of the ever increasing volume and sophistication of attacks it is especially important that we do more to help the next generation of students better understand the positive impact that cybersecurity knowledge can have on their lives and future careers.

“It is evident that there is currently a shortage of talent in the cybersecurity industry. All organisations – private and public – are pivotal in closing the cybersecurity skills gap, ensuring that future generations are fully equipped for facing future inevitabilities. And with our latest report revealing that a fifth of the UK public believe cybercrime and hacking are the biggest challenges facing the UK today, this report gives us more of an incentive to ensure we do more to identify and nurture the cyber experts of the future.

“In fact, it is something we’re also invested in addressing – as we recognise the importance of empowering the individuals who will be key in fighting cybercriminals in the future, last month we announced the launch of the University Technology College Cyber Security Group which looks to ensure that we – and other private organisations – are doing our best to develop the right cyber skills to adequately protect the UK from future cyber threats and attacks.”

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