The fight to protect the UK from the growing threat of cyber attacks has been boosted by a successful student scheme that launched its expanded 2017 programme yesterday (2 February).
CyberFirst, a pivotal part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, serves to find, finesse and fast-track tomorrow’s online security experts about to start university or in their first year.
Up to 250 recruits will now be able to receive £4,000 student bursaries, paid work placements and employment on graduation after more than 20 companies pledged their support to the government initiative.
Officially launched in May 2016, CyberFirst is a pivotal part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme, which includes the formation of the brand new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a single, central body that manages incidents, threat analysis and sectoral advice.
To encourage interest in cyber security, the NCSC is also running a competition where teams of 13-15 year old girls will pit their wits against one another to crack a series of online puzzles. The contest was announced in January and has already received over pre-registrations from 600 schools on behalf of almost 2,000 girls.
Under the Cyber First brand, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport plan to launch a National Schools Programme for 2017 onwards. This will see the development of a national extracurricular school programme to identify the most promising students with intensive training and mentoring.
Notes to editors
Companies supporting CyberFirst include:
- BAE Systems
- APM Group
- Information Risk Management
- Cyber 1st
- Reliance ACSN Ltd
- L-3 TRL technology
- Northrop Grumann
- NCC Group
- Lockheed Martin
- City of London Police
- Candidates for GCHQ CyberFirst bursaries can register their interest from 6th Feb on the GCHQ careers website https://www.gchq-careers.co.uk/index.html
- Pre registration for the CyberFirst Girls competition is available until 12th February and can be made via https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/events/cyberfirst-girls-competition
- Industry support and investment has steadily grown. Over 20 companies have committed to offering their own CyberFirst Bursary scheme and work placements. We expect this number to grow.
- A broad range of CyberFirst courses will be run throughout 2017. They include:
- CyberFirst Adventurers; A free one day course aimed at 13/14 year-olds PLUS their parents, teachers and guardians.
- CyberFirst Defenders; A free four-day residential and non-residential course aimed at 14/15 year-olds.
- CyberFirst Futures; A free five day residential and non residential course aimed at 15/16 year-olds.
- CyberFirst Advanced; A free five day residential and non-residential course aimed at 16/17 year-olds.
Further details of the courses will be available from https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/new-talent in the spring.