Due to demand, the deadline for registration and completion of the initial assessment phase of the UK government’s landmark cybersecurity training programme, Cyber Discovery, has been extended to the 31st January.
Funded by the Department for Digital, Media, Culture & Sport (DCMS) and delivered by global IT training company SANS Institute, Cyber Discovery is a free programme that uses gamification to teach and demonstrate the basics of cybersecurity in a safe, challenging and fun setting. Aimed at students aged 14-18 across the UK, the main objective of the programme is to plug the country’s cybersecurity skills gap through cultivating undiscovered talent and promoting cybersecurity as a credible career path to the younger generations.
Over 23,000 students across England signed up to participate in the programme last year, which uses interactive games on topics such as forensics, coding and cryptography to spark curiosity, critical thinking and problem solving in future generations. Following last year’s success, the programme has been extended to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales this year, and the number of 14-18-year-olds who have signed up to test their cyber mettle has already exceeded last year.
“The UK has a huge pool of untapped cybersecurity talent right on its doorstep. The key to unlocking it is educating younger generations on the realities and benefits of careers in the sector, and how they can become part of a global team of cyber defenders with an important, challenging and ever-changing mission,” said James Lyne, Head of Research and Development at SANS Institute. “It’s Cyber Discovery’s goal to nurture this potential talent, which is why we’re extending the Assessment phase for the second year of the initiative to the 31st January. Given the amount of interest we’ve seen in the programme so far, we can begin to make the UK a safer place – both for businesses and citizens – online.”
Registration for the assessment phase of the initiative—CyberStart Assess—is open to students, as well as teachers and club leaders interested in volunteering to mentor and coach students through the programme. You can find out more here. For those students who have already registered and completed CyberStart Assess, the next phase of the programme – CyberStart Game – will open as planned on the 15th January for candidates who achieve the required score for progression.