NCA and Immersive Labs Offer Summer Education Plan for Teens

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has partnered with Immersive Labs to offer a summer training and learning opportunity for teenagers.

Named Cyber4Summer, it is intended to give young people the opportunity to develop cyber-skills online over the summer holidays and is a part of the NCA’s strategy to train today’s youth as part of the UK Government’s Cyber Essentials scheme.

The program is now open, and will be available for three months. It will give students the ability to learn cyber-skills in real-life labs, provided by Immersive Labs, with safe and legal platform offering some of the foundations of ethical hacking.

As a part of the Cyber4Summer program, Immersive Labs will provide over 100 labs, covering a broad range of cybersecurity themes and skill areas such as staying safe online, encoding and encryption along with the ins-and-outs of attack (red teaming) and defense (blue teaming).

The labs are catered for entry-level to intermediate level youth ages 13-18 with a focus on hands-on practical cyber-skills, rather than simply awareness tips. Included are three challenge-based CTF (Capture the Flag) style objectives for students to complete, adding gamification and engaging angles to the trainings. These CTF challenges align with the ‘Cyber Crime Investigator’ role to give context to real-life industry practice areas.

“We’re really pleased to have partnered with Immersive Labs on this offering for young people at a critical time in their development,” said Jim Stokley, deputy director of the NCA National Cyber Crime Unit. “The real-life, simulated courses focus on engaging content that will help them to build their cyber-skills in a safe and legal environment, preparing them for potential cyber-careers in the future.”

The Cyber Choices network was created to help people make informed choices and to use their cyber-skills in a legal way. This is a national initiative coordinated by the NCA and delivered by Cyber Choices teams within regional organized crime units and local police force cyber-teams.

As part of Cyber Choices, Immersive Labs is providing gamified, engaging trainings for Cyber4Summer, which are handpicked to educate youth about hacking, challenge their skills and deter them from dangerous future cybercrime.

“I know from first-hand experience teaching at GCHQ that traditional, classroom-style lessons don’t leave a lasting impact when it comes to cybersecurity,” said James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs.

“We know that people learn better from hands-on, engaging situations that mirror real-life crises, which is what we’re reflecting in the labs for the NCA. We’re excited to provide meaningful lessons for up-and-coming talent as they skill up their passions for online cyber-activity.”

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