London, UK – The second year of the UK Government's cyber schools programme "Cyber Discovery" officially opened today following a successful pilot year in England last year. Delivered for the UK's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) by SANS Institute, Cyber Discovery is designed to inspire teenagers to think about a career in cyber security. This year, the programme has been extended to Scotland and Northern Ireland, with teens aged 14-18 years of age invited to take part in the training initiative.
Over 23,000 young people aged between 14 and 18 have already taken part in the Cyber Discovery programme which uses interactive games to teach teenagers about cyber security in an accessible and fun way. The 20 million programme teaches students about a wide range of cyber security subjects including digital forensics, defending against web attacks and cryptography. Those who perform at the highest levels, will also have the opportunity to attend a special summer camp to hone their skills and meet industry leaders.
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."
Head of Research and Development for SANS Institute 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 40.4% of female students and 35.5% of male students hadn't even considered a career in cyber security. This dropped to 9.6% and 6.3% 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."
Cyber Discovery sits within Cyber First, the UK Government's cyber security skills programme, which is part of the 1.9 billion investment through the National Cyber Security Strategy to transform the UK's cyber security and ensure we build skills in the workforce of the future. The programme is also a key part of the governments modern Industrial Strategy - a long term plan to ensure that businesses have the skilled workers they need here in Britain.
Any young person between the ages of 14 to 18 can take part. Registration for the assessment phase of the initiative—CyberStart Assess—is now open to students, as well as teachers and club leaders interested in volunteering to mentor and coach students through the programme. This first assessment phase closes on 7th January 2019. You can find out more here.
About SANS Institute
The SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organization. Today, SANS is the most trusted and, by far, the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to professionals in government and commercial institutions world-wide. Renowned SANS instructors teach more than 60 courses at in-person and virtual cyber security training events and on demand. GIAC, an affiliate of the SANS Institute, validates practitioner skills through more than 35 hands-on, technical certifications in cyber security. The SANS Technology Institute, a regionally accredited independent subsidiary, offers a master’s degree, graduate certificates, and an undergraduate certificate in cyber security. SANS Security Awareness, a division of SANS, provides organizations with a complete and comprehensive security awareness solution, enabling them to easily and effectively manage their ‘human’ cybersecurity risk. SANS also delivers a wide variety of free resources to the InfoSec community including consensus projects, research reports, webcasts, podcasts, and newsletters; it also operates the Internet's early warning system–the Internet Storm Center. At the heart of SANS are the many security practitioners, representing varied global organizations from corporations to universities, working together to support and educate the global information security community. (https://www.sans.org)