The successful, DCMS-backed online cybersecurity training program, Cyber Discovery, launched today for a third year across the UK.
Delivered by global IT security training provider the SANS Institute, Cyber Discovery aims to help close the UK’s cybersecurity skills gap by inspiring teenagers to pursue a career in the industry.
The program uses an online game platform with hundreds of hours of challenges and teaching to educate teenagers about the skills needed to be a cybersecurity expert. Over 46,000 young people aged between 14 and 18 have already taken part in the Cyber Discovery program over the past two years and, this year, the program is opening its doors to students aged 13 for the first time.
Cyber Discovery was launched as part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy and offers training in a broad range of disciplines including: digital forensics, penetration testing, web attack defense, cryptography and ethics.
The program is comprised of four phases: an initial assessment stage, CyberStart Assess; CyberStart Game and CyberStart Essentials, designed to enhance the skills of those who have made it through the initial assessment stage. The top performers then attend CyberStart Elite camps, designed to further prepare them for a career in the cyber profession by providing industry-leading training, career advice, soft skills development and a Capture the Flag contest.
Cybersecurity Minister Nigel Adams said: “Our tech sector is one of the UK’s greatest strengths but to support its continued success we need a skilled and diverse workforce. Cyber Discovery has already inspired thousands of young people to think about a career in the cyber industry and I hope this year’s students will also have fun learning about the opportunities on offer.”
James Lyne, CTO at SANS Institute and one of the creators of the program, added: “I have been amazed by the level of young talent coming out of the Cyber Discovery program – and so excited for the launch of year three, with even more students learning about the fascinating arena of cybersecurity.
“Time and again over the past couple of years, I have seen students who originally had no idea they would be any good at security demonstrating amazing capabilities, so the key takeaway for me is to have a go! You might just be what we need to stop the bad guys, and have a lot of fun doing it!”
Daniel Milnes took part in Cyber Discovery in year two and has already gone on to secure a job in cybersecurity straight out of school. “Cyber Discovery has really been revolutionary for me and my future plans,” he said. “I’ve made friends through the program, pushed my existing skills to their limits, and learned so many more, so much so that I’m now working as a cybersecurity consultant, which is something I would never have dreamed of before Cyber Discovery.”
Registration and completion of the first assessment phase closes on October 25 2019. You can find out more here.