Lancaster hosts Government flagship cyber security camp

Youngsters on the SANS Cyber Discovery camp at Lancaster University

Lancaster University hosted a cyber security camp as part of a flagship Government programme to inspire a future generation of UK cyber defenders.

The SANS Cyber Discovery camp saw around 60 young people aged between 14 and 18 taking part in a series of challenges designed to test and show off their cyber skills.

The camp’s participants are an elite cohort selected from more than 46,000 young people who signed-up to the Government’s Cyber Discovery programme and took part in a series of challenges.

At the Lancaster University camp, one of a series of three held across the country, the students battled it out to become the Number 1 student overall by undergoing tasks such as ‘capture the flag competitions where teams solve computer security problems and capture and defend computer systems.

The elite students also had the opportunity to meet and question cyber security industry leaders about career opportunities and they were mentored by experts from industry and Government throughout the week-long camp, which started on July 29.

Global cyber security training provider SANS Institute delivered the event for the UK Government.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) recognise the Cyber Security Research Centre at Lancaster University as a Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research.

Dr Vasileios Giotsas, a Lecturer in Lancaster University’s School of Computing and Communications and part of the Security Lancaster research centre, said: “The event offered an excellent opportunity to interact with school students and help them match their skills to the many different pathways in a cyber-security career.

“Pop culture often distorts the reality of cyber-security professionals, which may intimidate or discourage students from pursuing a relevant career. By explaining our personal experience we hope we have demystified the field of cyber-security and can attract more diverse talent.”

The Cyber Security Research Centre at Lancaster University is a hub of multi-disciplinary research looking at the most challenging socio-technical cyber security research problems. The Centre delivers an NCSC certified Masters degree programme, and its research philosophy is to provide a unique blend of inter-disciplinary, systems-centred and resilience-focused research on cyber security to drive a range of innovative research programmes – establishing Lancaster as a leading international centre in cyber security research.

The Cyber Security Research Centre is part of Security Lancaster, one of four research institutions set up at Lancaster University to tackle key societal grand challenges.

The Government is committed to improving the skills of the next generation and encouraging the best minds into cyber security. Cyber Discovery will help inspire the digital talent of tomorrow and give thousands of young people the opportunity to develop cutting-edge cyber security skills and fast-track future careers.

The Cyber Discovery programme is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to protect from online threats and make Britain the safest place to be online.

Cyber Discovery is a free programme open to young people aged 13 to 18-years-old. 

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