Forget the social isolation and rage-inducing unpleasantness of video games*, or the unsettling and unsuspected online insecurity of fluffy toys which connect to the Internet**, what kids really want this Christmas is a solid job in an area which is growing ever more challenging, rewarding and lucrative – and any child which disagrees clearly needs be on prescription medication.
Thankfully help is at hand, with the advent (sic) of the new Christmas Cyber Lectures, which starts its tour of Scottish schools today.
DIGIT has reported in the recent past on the new initiatives to get kids and young people to look at cybersecurity more seriously – and even consider a career as a cybercrime fighter. As the threat of cybercrime continues to grow – and statistics show that nearly 50% of companies in the UK were victims of a data breach or cyberattack in the last 12 months – the government wants to inspire more people to join the cyber sector.
The Christmas Cyber Lectures, supported by the Scottish Government, intend to do just that, as they travel across Scotland to deliver a series of fun, interactive lectures highlighting the abundance of career opportunities within the growing cyber security sector.
The lectures will raise awareness of online dangers and educate young people on how to protect themselves in an ever more digital world.
Dr Martin Beaton, Cybersecurity Cluster Co-ordinator for Scotland, said: “The threat of cyber security has been heightened recently due to a series of high-profile attacks like WannaCry, which have not only shocked the world but have actually encouraged businesses to sit up, listen and take cyber security seriously.
“The cyber security sector is suffering from a chronic shortage of skilled professionals, which is where our lectures come in. They are fun, engaging and genuinely intend to inspire young people to consider a career in the cyber security industry.”
The lectures have reached over 12,000 young people across Scotland over the last five years and will reach a further 3,000 in 2017.
The Cyber Lectures will hit the following towns:
- Stornoway – 8th December
- Inverness – 11th December
- Aberdeen – 12th December
- Dundee – 13th December
- Edinburgh – 14th December
- Glasgow – 15th December
The lectures will be split into a series of 20-minute presentations delivered by a multitude of industry representatives, including Katy Caie, Development Manager for the Cyber Security Challenge UK in Scotland, Dr Lynsay Shepard, lecturer in Usable Security at Abertay University, official legend and cyberstar Professor Bill Buchanan OBE, and Brian Higgins of (ICS)2 – whose legendary competitions are renowned for keeping pupils on the edge of their seats.
Inspiring and Pioneering
The lectures are funded by UK Government in partnership with the Scottish Government, and are supported by Digital World, an initiative developed by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in partnership with industry, which inspires and supports people to consider a career in digital technology.
Claire Gillespie, key sector manager for Digital Skills at SDS, said: “It’s fantastic to see the Christmas Cyber Lectures return for a sixth year running. Their popularity among schools across the country is a clear testament to the brilliant work they are doing in engaging and inspiring young people to consider a career in Scotland’s thriving cyber security sector.”
Steven Kendrick, SISCA Executive Officer, University of Glasgow: “The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) is delighted to sponsor the Christmas Cyber Lectures, which we hope will lead to a new generation of talented Cyber Security enthusiasts and experts in Scotland! SICSA supports a range of activities to help promote Cyber Security and Resilience across Scotland via the SICSA Cyber Nexus – a new £420,000 programme funded by UK Government; and supported by Scottish Government, in partnership with the National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board.”
More importantly Tunnocks will be on hand at each lecture to provide pupils with its legendary teacakes and caramel wafers.
Better By Design
The logo for the 2017 Christmas Cyber Lectures was created by pupils at St Kentigern’s Academy in West Lothian (home of the 2017 Scottish Cyber Awards Champion of Champions and official friend of DIGIT Toni Scullion), following a competition in which schools had to design a new logo for the event. The winners were given the chance to visit Loudon Design, meet the team and see how their winning logo would be implemented into the new site.
To find out more about the lectures visit http://www.christmascyberlectures.org/
* This is NOT TRUE
* This is TRUE