UK Government Launches Online Cyber-School

An online cyber-school has been launched today by the UK government to help develop a new generation of cybersecurity professionals. The free virtual program provides teenagers with the opportunity to learn vital cybersecurity skills at home as schools remain closed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Enrolled students will progress through a game play scenario as a cyber-agent, learning how to crack codes, fix security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails in the process. There will also be free weekly webinars run by cybersecurity experts covering areas such as digital forensics, cryptography and operating systems.

It is hoped the initiative will provide youngsters with useful skills for future employment as well as encourage interest in pursuing a career in the cybersecurity sector, which is set to become even more vital as the world becomes increasingly digitalized.

UK digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman said: “This new initiative will give teenagers something fun and educational to do from home and provide them with a glimpse into the life of a cybersecurity professional. We have a world-leading cyber-sector which plays a crucial role protecting the country and our digital economy, so it is absolutely vital we continue to inspire the next generation of tech talent to help maintain the UK’s strong position.”

Other steps to enable children to learn these types of skills virtually are also being taken. This includes making the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) CyberFirst summer courses online this year. Also, this week the National Crime Agency (NCA) and Cyber Security Challenge UK will announce that teenagers can access the online cyber-skills platform CyberLand for free during the coming months.

“Technology is helping us all cope with the coronavirus crisis and is playing an essential role in keeping our businesses moving and our society connected,” added NCSC chief executive officer, Ciaran Martin. “It has never been more important for our young people to keep engaged and learn how to protect our digital world, and I’m delighted to see our instructor-led CyberFirst summer courses made available online.”

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