By Andy Bates
Everyone talks about the cybersecurity skills gap, but what are we actually doing about it?
For the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), doing something about it means paving the way for the next generation to learn more about cybersecurity. We are pleased to join them in this effort, and we are excited to have received this year’s NCSC CyberFirst Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) Award.
In 2017, we hired our first student to work with us for six months during their gap year. This proved that 18-year-olds who want to study international business can learn about cybersecurity and also add value to their employees on day one.
In 2019, we went further by embracing NCSC’s CyberFirst programme. NCSC gave us five students to work with us for the summer as part of the CyberFirst bursary scheme, which provides opportunities for young people to learn about the world of cybersecurity. This was a gamble, as we did not know what to expect. But the gamble paid off; they worked well testing our Cybersecurity Toolkit for Small Business, and we deployed them with our partner Red Sift where they built an email honeypot. The City of London Police (a GCA founder) also worked with the students for a week where, in addition to getting close to seeing crime fighting in action, they were able to write code which helps make police teams more efficient at website takedown.
We are excited to continue teaching the next generation about the cyber world through these programs while helping to close the cybersecurity skills gap.
The author, Andy Bates, is the Executive Director of the United Kingdom, Middle East, and India for the Global Cyber Alliance. You can follow him on Twitter @andycyberbates or connect with him on LinkedIn.