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Unlock Cyber – Cyber Taster Day

Amiosec run Cyber Security Detectives workshop at Cyber Taster Day which showcases careers in cyber security for over 300 school children in the South West


3rd December, 2019


UWE Conference Centre, Bristol


27 local secondary schools came together with employers from across the South West region for a Cyber Taster Day on Tuesday 3rd December at the University of the West of England’s Exhibition and Conference Centre (UWE Bristol) to learn about the skills needed for a career in cyber. 

The one-day event was organised by the Unlock Cyber Project for pupils aged 12 to 14 years. The children participated in a range of activities which were designed and delivered by local employers including Amiosec, Leonardo, Airbus, IBM, PwC, OVO Energy, Nationwide Building Society, Cyber Security Associates and the South West Police Regional Cyber Crime Unit.

Cyber is an abbreviation of the term ‘Cyber Security’, which is also sometimes called Information Technology Security. The field explores the techniques of protecting computers, networks, programmes and data from unauthorised access, often termed ‘hacks’, or attacks that are aimed for exploitation. 

Unlock Cyber is a group established to bring together cyber representatives from employers, professional bodies, delivery partners, education providers and academia from Bristol, Bath and the West of England region. They are working collectively, to help create, raise awareness and deliver more cyber opportunities to young people in order to help fulfil skills gaps and meet future skills needs. The project has identified seven key skills needed to work in cyber and seeks to offer the opportunity to build these skills in young people from across the region. Figures from the global information security workforce study show there are currently around 289,000 cyber security jobs in the UK, and this figure is growing rapidly. 

Following the Taster Day, the Unlock Cyber project group will continue working with schools to create resources for cyber activities that can be delivered in the classroom. For example, Unlock Cyber will be encouraging female pupils from the region to enter the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls competition, which is designed to inspire the next generation of young women to consider a future career in cyber security.

Elaine Brown, Unlock Cyber Project Manager at UWE Bristol said: “While using advanced technology has become part of our everyday lives, the challenge now is to learn how to protect ourselves in this digital world. We hear of organisations being hacked in the news and people’s personal data being stolen. Some attacks have shut down hospitals and airports. The threats are huge, but so too are the opportunities to work in an industry that keeps us all safe. Our aim is to highlight the broad range and growth in opportunities across cyber security and digital technology. The “Unlock Cyber” event should interest anyone with an enquiring mind, who enjoys problem solving. We hope to engage young people, especially females, so that they will want to discover more, as well as learn how they could have a role themselves in protecting the technology we now rely on so heavily.”

Amiosec were proud to support the event by running their “Cyber Security Detectives – A Race Against Time!” workshop, which the students really enjoyed. They learnt that they should be cautious when disclosing personal information on social media, they learnt about Caesar Cipher cryptography, and they got experience of team working to solve problems. 

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