National Cyber Roadshows kicks off in South West
The first in a series of national Cyber Roadshows kicks off this month in the south west of England, seeing hundreds of youngsters learn basic cyber security skills and knowledge and setting them on the path to future cyber careers. The South West Cyber Roadshow, is the first regional event series of a new initiative by Cyber Security Challenge UK and is delivered in the South West in partnership with Computing At School (CAS) and the South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit’s (RCCU) Cyber Futures programme. Across February and March, the roadshow will visit seven schools across Gloucestershire, Devon and Somerset.
The Cyber Roadshows aim to introduce cyber security to school children aged 10–14 years old. These days will be a mix of hands on technical challenges, inspirational keynote talks, and networking delivered by national and regional professionals in cyber security. Activities include a Capture-the- Flag competition – an online cyber treasure hunt; basic network security lessons and coding for beginners. These are coupled with inspirational talks from cyber security industry professionals, university students studying cyber security, and some Cyber Security Challenge UK alumni to inspire and engage the pupils on what may lie in their future. All these activities educate and inspire young people to learn and use their skills ethically and legally; steering away from the many temptations young people face, which could draw them into the world of cybercrime. The Roadshow also aims to encourage and support teachers to teach cyber security in classrooms without prior skills in the area.
Debbie Tunstall Head of Education Programmes, Cyber Security Challenge UK said: “Cyber Roadshows aim to support the awareness of cyber security as not only a subject matter, but to open up school pupils to the idea of a cyber security career. Cyber Security Challenge UK is committed to enabling, educating, and supporting young people to become cyber security professionals and ultimately end that skills gap. Over half of UK businesses are affected by cyber security breaches annually, and by inspiring students to continue to study cyber security and consider it as a future career, we’re creating a stronger UK in the future.”
Lucy Edgeworth at the South West Cyber Crime Unit said: “Our goal is to inform, engage and inspire young people to learn and use their skills ethically and legally, diverting these individuals as early as possible and enabling them to have bright Cyber Futures. We believe more can be done to educate young people, parents and teachers about what is legal and how to spot the signs of someone who is being drawn into cybercrime - we see the Cyber Roadshow as a fantastic opportunity for us to achieve this goal.”
Beverly Clarke, CAS South West Outreach Support said: “Computing At School South West is committed to supporting teachers across the region to improve their knowledge and practise around the topic of cyber, hence leading to better awareness and lessons for pupils. We are proud to support the Cyber Roadshow, as it covers many areas such as raising cyber awareness to pupils, providing teachers with links to STEM providers, teacher resources and CPD opportunities.” As cyber security becomes more and more important for the future of businesses and the Government, there is a projects skills gap of 1.8 million by 2022. The Cyber Roadshow will introduce the subject to pupils in a fun and engaging way, showing them the varied and exciting careers they can hold in the future.
The Cyber Roadshow is currently touring around the south west of England before reaching different regions of the UK later this year.
About Cyber Security Challenge UK
Cyber Security Challenge UK is supported in part by the National Cyber Security Programme – the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK Government will deliver a UK that is secure and resilient to cyber threats; prosperous and confident in the digital world. https://cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk/
The South West Regional Cyber Crime Unit is comprised of dedicated individuals who investigate serious cybercrime, offer advice and guidance to small businesses, and work with a range of partners to prevent people from engaging in cybercrime. For more articles and case studies like this, follow us here, on LinkedIn and on Twitter (@swrccu).
We also have a node on the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP), and we strongly encourage organisations to sign up for real time cyber threat information in a secure, confidential and dynamic environment https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cisp.