According to the recent article published in the BBC Technology News, the United Kingdom government has launched a 20-million-pound initiative to get students interested in cyber-security. The Cyber Discovery program is aimed at school children, who are aged 15 to 18 years old, and offline and online challenges themed around fighting against hackers. It is one of the programs that are trying to build interest in the security work and help in filling an emerging skills gap. One industry expert stated that a comprehensive strategy would be required to address the gap that is widening.
Karen Bradley, who is the secretary of state for sport, media, culture, as well as digital, stated that the Cyber Discovery is a free program aiming at encouraging the greatest young minds into cyber-security. Young people interested in joining the program will be asked to enroll through a test that will be done online; the best performers in that assessment will be put through a complete curriculum that will help them to familiarize with the cyber-security work.
The head of R&D (research and development) at the Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies, James Lyne, who helped in drawing up the program, said that the curriculum is going to cover the ethics of hacking, programming, cryptography, defending against web attacks, as well as digital forensics. It combines online challenges with role-playing, face-to-face learning, as well as real-world technical challenges. Also, extracurricular clubs will be established as part of the Cyber Discovery project that is going to be managed by mentors who assist participants take the knowledge they learn further.
It’s one of the many initiatives in the United Kingdom aimed at galvanizing interest in the security industry among young people. The organization behind the United Kingdom’s Cyber Security Challenge, which is running many programs looking for adult security workers, has one that is especially aimed at schools known as the Cyber Games. Cyber Games is a series of contests held around the United Kingdom and puts students through various cyber-themed challenges as well as activities.
Another program developed by Qufaro, the Bletchley Park-based cyber-training college, is an extension of the existing information and communications technology (ICT) curriculum that’s centered on computer security. The head of Qufaro, Budgie Dhanda stated that the lessons as well as the projects it has drawn up make an EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) that students can study besides their A/S levels.