Trade Resources Industry Views Cybersecurity Teamed up to Go in Search of Students Aged From 14 to 16

Cybersecurity Teamed up to Go in Search of Students Aged From 14 to 16

The Cabinet Office and Cyber Security Challenge UK have teamed up to go in search of students aged from 14 to 16 who have "the potential to become professional cyber defenders".

With support from security companies including QinetiQ, Sophos, Cassidian and Raytheon, competition packs will be sent to 2,500 schools, with a £1,000 cash prize on offer for winning institutions.

Cybersecurity Challenge Taken to The Classroom

Explaining the reasons behind the move, Stephanie Daman, CEO of Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: "There is no doubt that if we only target those already in employment we will not meet the UK's cyber security needs for the next 20 years.

"Our vision has always been to create a self-sustaining talent pool - one that quickly grows to support the UK's immediate needs, but which is also constantly replenished to fuel our longer-term online security requirements. For this, we must engage and inspire a younger audience."

Daman added that it is "up to us to show [the next generation of workers] why cyber security is a rewarding, exciting, fulfilling profession, and an opportunity for them to succeed and thrive."

She added that the decision was partly inspired by the history of previous winners, who this year included a candidate with a background in pharmacy.

"Over the last three years we have been overwhelmed by the number of young candidates that have successfully navigated our competitions but who have come to us with no discernible technical skills," said Daman.

"It's become very clear that the very best candidates for cyber security roles are those with a natural gift for problem solving and a curious mind. Technical skills can be taught but our schools programme has been designed to look beyond that and to test natural aptitude and lateral thinking. It is the pupils that can apply themselves without necessarily having to rely on technical skills that are going to do well."


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Cybersecurity Challenge Taken to The Classroom