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NCSC Prepares Young Girls to Become Next Gen Cyber Professionals

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The U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) partnered with Girlguiding South West England to educate girl students on cryptography, language analysis, and digital forensics using real-life examples. Both the parties also jointly conducted CyberFirst events aimed at developing cybersecurity skills among young girls and increase female representation in the cybersecurity industry.

The CyberFirst courses are designed for girls aged between the ages of 12 and 18, and focusses on developing U.K.’s next generation of cyber professionals. The recent training event saw girls invited to the University of West England to learn about internet security and data privacy. The NCSC stressed that women are under-represented in the U.K.’s cyber workforce which is something the government is working to address.

Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Skills and Growth at NCSC said, “It’s great to see Guides from across the South West learning about the fascinating world of cybersecurity, enabling them to see how worthwhile and fulfilling a career in this field can be. We will continue to support and encourage the UK’s next generation of cyber professionals, through our world leading CyberFirst program, helping to attract the most diverse minds.”

Carole Pennington, Chief Commissioner for Girlguiding South West England said, “We were delighted to be working with NCSC on our first CyberFirst activity day. Part of the ethos of Girlguiding is that girls can do anything, and events like this are key to our members being able to try out a range of activities with experts in their field. These activity days form part of the Region SWEBOTS program. The most recent resource ‘On The Net’ was produced in collaboration with NCSC and has proved to be very popular with our members of all ages. Awareness of cybersecurity is vital for all our members, and we hope that many more girls will have the opportunity to take part in activity days like these which provide a fun way of learning about the topic.”

The debates on the skill gap and gender gap in the cybersecurity sector have become the most redundant topics but still continue to escalate even after significant efforts by several organizations.