Over the past year, Cyber Security Challenge UK has been working with the National Crime Agency (NCA), Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) and the cyber security industry to roll out a series of Cyber Intervention Days as part of the NCA’s Cyber Prevent strategy. Set up to “deter individuals from moving into, or deeper into, cyber-crime, and to prevent reoffending,” the aim of the Prevent Strategy is to raise awareness of both the consequences of cyber crime and the benefits of a career in cyber security.
Set up to help young people who have committed, or are at risk of committing, low-level cyber crimes, the aim of the Cyber Crime Intervention Days is to help attendees learn from their actions and discover the incredible range of positive career opportunities that exist in the industry.
Looking to the future
The Cyber Crime Intervention Days are day-long workshops that help attendees understand the law and ethics that surround activities like hacking. The ultimate aim of the programme is to empower young people with the knowledge and ability to change course and use their skills on the right side of the law. Just like the awareness courses that drivers attend if they go over the speed limit, the programme has been set up to help young people realise their potential and discover the cyber security’s industry’s real and growing demand for fresh talent with technical skills like theirs.
Alongside the track for young people, a separate series of workshops run alongside for their parents and guardians, to help them spot the signs of criminality and support their children to use their talents in a way that’s both lawful and lucrative.
Speakers included former Cease and Desist recipients, as well as officers from the Regional Organised Crime Units, the NCA, Cyber Security Challenge UK and industry organisations, including BT, NCC Group and Grillatech.
The programme had a wide range of support from government, industry and the media. Media coverage of the programme included:
CNET – Inside the boot camp reforming teenage hackers
The Register – UK cyber cops: Infosec pros could help us divert teens from ‘dark side’
“Fun, interesting, enjoyable”
The feedback from both the attendees and guardians was extremely positive. We’ve included a couple of our favourite quotes below:
All of the different talks were excellent as they each provided a unique insight into cyber security and the demand for it. I enjoyed the sessions where we were able to use our practical skills to solve Capture the Flag tasks.
I didn’t realise how high the demand for cyber security professionals is, and that you don’t always need a degree to work in the industry. The high potential salary, opportunities for progression and ability to do good are all useful points that I’ve taken away from today’s session.
It was a positive day, as it celebrated their skills and removed the traditional barriers of formal education and qualifications. It has helped them to see that they are in demand and it is worth pursuing careers and improving their skills.
Hearing from cyber security experts about their roles and career paths was very inspiring. There was lots of great advice about where to go next and future opportunities; this helped hit home about the repercussions of their actions. We were also given useful links to online cyber security challenges and loads of information about potential career options.
Careers in cyber
If you, or someone you know, would benefit from learning more about careers in cyber security, Cyber Security Challenge UK hosts a variety of cyber careers events and programmes each year. In October 2018, we organised Cyber Re:coded, a free, two-day cyber security careers show in Tobacco Dock, London. Thousands of young people attended in order to meet prospective employers, seek career advice and dive into the world of cyber. We also run a series of events, games, workshops and programmes in schools, including Cyber Challenge in a Box – an immersive learning experience for KS2 and KS3 students that allows students to practice skills critical to staying safe online.
If you have a media enquiry about our partnership with the NCA and Cyber Crime Intervention Days, or would like more information about the other events and programmes we run, please send us an email.