Your country needs you!

Cyber security means the protection of systems, networks and data in cyberspace. Although such threats may be ICT-related, the consequences of cyber-attacks can be very human. There have been numerous recent examples of companies being hacked meaning that users have to change their passwords or risk having their personal data stolen. As the risk to these systems posed by cyber-crime rises and organisations improve their understanding of the security threats they face, more is being done to manage the associated risks.

This means that there is now an increased need for people with the right kinds of skills and knowledge. The National Cyber Security Programme, funded by the Cabinet Office, includes a number of initiatives designed to increase the scale and breadth of talent among school children who may then enter the field of cyber security, to meet this ever increasing demand.

Your country needs you!

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Schoolchildren in England will be offered lessons in cyber security for the first time in an effort to find the experts of the future who will help to defend the UK from attacks. In the not too distant future, it is hoped that over 5000 pupils between the ages of 14 and 16 will spend a few hours on the subject in a five-year pilot scheme. There will be a mix of classroom and online teaching with examples of real world challenges and work experience. £20m is being provided for the pilot by The Department for Culture, Media and Sport. For Web Design Peterborough, visit www.routetoweb.co.uk

The government is becoming increasingly concerned over the massive skills shortage and the risk that criminals could hack into critical UK computer systems is now ranked as one of the top four threats to national security. The government is already providing university funding and work placements for promising students and an apprenticeship scheme has been set up to help key employers train and recruit youngsters who have a talent for technology and problem solving.

It is hoped that getting youngsters involved will allow them to protect themselves online, which will benefit every home in the country. It is vital that the UK continues to have a pipeline of talent coming through the system. A former deputy director at GCHQ has said that such schemes were an ‘essential initiative’ to recruit more people into this vital profession.

Getting involved in technology and cyber security doesn’t have to be considered ‘nerdy’ or ‘geeky’. There is a broad range of activities relating to ICT which can appeal to a large cross section of children and personality types, apprentices and graduates and they need to know more about what is on offer. The more we can share with our children, the better it will prepare them for a future which is very much dominated by technology and cyberspace. Future generations need to be secure online for themselves, their families and for national security so introducing such topics in schools can only be a good thing.

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