Teenagers from across Scotland recently attended a series of Cyber-Security lectures organised by the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA). The lectures took place at the Universities of Glasgow; Edinburgh Napier; Abertay; and RGU between the 16th and 19th of December 2013 and were be attended by 3000 pupils from High Schools across the country.
The SICSA Christmas Cyber-Security Lecture series was first established in 2012 with the aim of bringing children together for an exciting session of talks on Cyber-Security, led by some of the country’s foremost experts in the area. Speakers at the recent events included some of the brightest academics in the field; along with representatives from Police Scotland and security experts from Dell SecureWorks and TrendMicro.
The SICSA Director, Professor Rod Murray-Smith, commented: “We are keen to attract the brightest students to study computing science. It is well-known that the shortfall in skilled software in the workplace in Scotland makes studying computing a good start to a career. With the choice of the Cyber-Security theme for the 2013 lectures we also aimed to excite school children about the important role of Computing Science in making the benefits of our increasingly high-tech society resilient to natural disasters, as well as criminal and terrorist threats. It is great to see that every group of lectures has been a complete sell-out!”
The UK Government National Security Strategy categorizes Cyber-Crime as a Tier 1 threat to our national security alongside terrorism and it pledged £650m in 2011 to tackle the problem. In parallel with this however, the UK is grappling with a massive skills gap; with many UK companies struggling to recruit adequately skilled Cyber-Security professionals.
Event organizer, Dr Martin Beaton, says: “It is a great pleasure to be touring these lectures around Scotland. We hope that by getting School pupils interested in Cyber-Security and raising the profile of the career through entertaining talks, we can start to address the 20 year Cyber-Security Skills Gap that the UK Government has identified. This year’s lecture series is now 5 times larger than last year and we hope it will continue to grow year on year.”