Generic keyboard image (Picture: MOD).

Record Numbers Sign Up To NCSC Cyber Summer School

The National Cyber Security Centre has moved its lessons, which includes code-cracking, online due to COVID-19.

Generic keyboard image (Picture: MOD).

Record numbers of teenagers have registered for online cyber skills summer courses run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the centre has said.

The CyberFirst courses see young people learn how to analyse common cyber attacks, crack codes and defend devices and networks.

Double the number of young people aged 14 to 17 have shown an interest in the sessions, the centre said.

There are 600 more places available on the courses this year, with 1,700 UK pupils in total set to be accepted.

NCSC, part of Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), moved this summer’s classes fully online in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak but said it will combine classroom-based and virtual lessons in the future.

Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for Cyber Growth, said: “Moving this year’s CyberFirst summer courses online has proven hugely popular, with a record number of boys and girls participating and developing their cyber skills from home – in a way that is fun, insightful and engaging.”

The CyberFirst courses were launched in 2016 to introduce young people to cybersecurity.

The scheme is part of efforts to improve diversity in those choosing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers.

According to the NCSC, just 15% of the UK’s cyber security workforce are women.

“These courses offer a golden opportunity for young people to explore their interests in cyber security and hopefully they will be inspired to pursue this further and become a part of the next generation of cyber talent,” Mr Ensor said.

Cover image: MOD.