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Cyber skills funding

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has named four new projects across England to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates into a career in cyber security. They are due to get at least £500,000 as part of the next round of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF).

Neurodiversity is featured on page 26 of the February 2019 print edition of Professional Security magazine.

At the DCMS, Digital Minister Margot James said: “Our cyber security industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match. These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cyber security profession. We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

The four are: Crucial Academy: Diversity in Cyber Security, in Brighton, which looks to retrain veterans in cyber; Cyber Software Academy for Women, by QA Learning, running in London, Bristol, and Manchester; Blue Screen IT: HACKED, for the neurodiverse; and online, Hacker House Ltd: Hands on Hacking, Training and Employer Portal.

Hacker House CEO Jennifer Arcuri said: “Cyber skills play such a vital role in the development to the digital economy and its fantastic to see the UK government make it such a priority. The team of Hacker House are thrilled to be included in the funding of this grant as this allows us the opportunity to continue to develop content that trains and enable candidates to retain practical skills needed for roles within information security.”

The CSIIF pilot was launched in February 2018 covering England.

Comment

Sarah Armstrong-Smith, head of continuity and resilience at Fujitsu UK, said a shortage of talent in the cyber security industry was undeniable. “Coupled with the lack of diversity, it is something that we as a nation must address. The news therefore, of this investment to encourage people of all backgrounds to join the industry is welcomed.

“With cybercriminals becoming more creative and savvy in their approach to cyber-attacks, a cybersecurity team which lacks diversity is more likely to leave a company vulnerable to attacks. Different groups of people bring a variety of ideas and ways of thinking, which means that a more diverse and inclusive cybersecurity team will be key in facilitating a broader range of ideas and perspectives about how to prevent an attack from taking place. It is only by engaging a diverse workforce and ways of thinking in cybersecurity that we can hope to adequately defend the UK.”


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