I Am Looking For

Pupils Consider Cyber Security Careers

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Students from both the Boys’ and Girls’ Divisions of Bolton School enjoyed a fascinating presentation from Emma Kirby of SANS, an information security training, certification and research company. SANS has linked up with the government National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to encourage pupils to look at careers in the cyber security sector. Emma spoke of the various ways in which a cyber attack can take place, everything from shoulder-surfing and phishing through to national hacks, exemplified by the Indian government’s biometric database being compromised which affected over one billion citizens! The criminals offered access to the database for 10 minute periods costing 500 Rupees (£5) per session. Pupils were introduced to a website called haveibeenpwned.com where you can check whether you have an account which has been compromised in a data breach. Emma went on to tell how the number of jobs in this sector has rocketed and ‘globally there are at least 3 million cyber security jobs without people to fill them.’ Many of these jobs, she explained, come with very good salaries. 

After explaining certain elements of cyber security, Emma introduced a competition designed so that students can solve puzzles at the same time as learning new security skills. The competition is open to any student aged between 13 and 18 years. The competition overview can be found via this link cyberdisc.io/welcome and is made up of a number of stages. Cyber Assess, comprising about 13 challenges, is the first stage and is open now until the 25th of October. In addition, anyone of any age can repeatedly try out an hour challenge via go.joincyberdiscovery.com/tutorial (type in any agent name to start). Depending on how one performs, it is possible to progress from CyberStart Assess to CyberStart Game with access to  CyberStart Essentials from December. CyberStart Essentials is more theory based, allowing access to many hours of interactive labs, videos and quizzes to help you solve CyberStart Game puzzles. In the last few years over 50,000 students have enjoyed learning essential security skills via these games. Making it through to the Elite level will guarantee a place on the summer residential training camps with the option of certification, ordinarily costing about 6,000 Euros! 

Emma ran three sessions including a Y13 A level joint Computer Science lesson where students really enjoyed some extra code breaking challenges! Camran Harwood, one of the Y13 students in this class, made it through all the competition stages last year and attended the Elite residential camp in July.

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