Government launches Digital Defender campaign to get kids into cyber security

A new government backed initiative to encourage young people into careers in cyber security kicked off at this week’s Big Bang Fair at the NEC Birmingham, the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK.

The campaign introduces the Digital Defenders – a team of ‘superheroes’ called Crypto Shield, Agent, Block and Frost Byte who save the world from cyber crime.

Matt Hancock, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: “Cyber security is an exciting profession, offering many varied career paths. The Big Bang Show project showcases all of the career options available and through the Digital Defenders team shows how we can work together to win the fight against cyber crime.”

School children visiting the stand at Big Bang Fair can have a go at solving codes and puzzles and playing cyber games with the Cyber Security Challenge UK, as well as finding out about exciting and rewarding careers in cyber security. There are opportunities to enter the industry with GCSEs or A Levels, as part of Apprenticeship programmes or to join at Degree level, with the ability to carry on learning and growing.

Cyber crime is one of the biggest threats facing governments, businesses and consumers, ranging from major corporate hacks to the theft of people’s personal data and credit cards. With the massive growth in online crime, the search is on for the next generation for future cyber security heroes. The Big Bang Fair and other events throughout the year will provide the opportunity to inspire young people and make them aware of the great opportunities available to defend the UK against hackers and other online criminals.

“Technology skills are very valuable when it comes to working in cyber security, but this is not just a career for techies,” said Ian Glover, President of CREST, the UK body representing the technical cyber security industry, which has teamed up with the government to deliver the Digital Defenders campaign. “In addition to technology based careers there is a wide range of other options including threat intelligence, legal and regulatory compliance, digital forensics, cultural change, training, project management and business analysis. All of these people are part of the Digital Defenders team who work together to win the fight against cyber crime.”

The UK is a cyber world-leader with a growing reputation for being at the forefront of industry, research, innovation and fighting international cyber crime. More than 100,000 people already work in the UK information security industry and demand for cyber skills is growing fast in every type of company and government department. Furthermore, exports of UK cyber products and services are growing by over 15 per cent a year.

Inspired Careers is an interactive careers hub full of information for people looking to enter cyber security straight from education, move from other industries or simply further their careers. For the Cyber Security Challenge UK, head to this website.

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