Thursday, August 9, 2012

Britain's youth defending the countries data

When talking about cyber crime, we usually think about organised gangs and teenage hackers all looking to empty your credit cards, but the truth is much darker. The world is facing a huge increase in cyber crime and digital threats from more hazardous sources... cyber criminals, enemies of state and terrorists.

These sources are looking to bring down our national defences, our energy supplies and our economy at the click of a button. Jim Murphy, shadow defence secretary stated that cyber security is now the “arms race of the 21st century”. Britain is one of the most targeted countries in the cybercrime world, making them react with a new type of army to defend it.

Cyber Security Challenge UK
In 2010, a competition was set up called the Cyber Security Challenge UK to find the UK’s most talent young security experts. There were more than 4000 applications and winners were awarded an Apple iPad 3 and more importantly internships, placement opportunities from biggest security companies in the country.

Lucy Robson, 19 years old, won the challenge and is currently one of recruits defending the UK. She is being trained by Qinetiq, the Ministry of Defence’s former research arm. She said “it was apparent that I was the only female there”. There is a large gap between males and females in the IT industry as mentioned in a previous post. Only 8% of women entered the competition; she also added that “it’s never put me off and I’m not sure why there aren’t more female applicants because it is such an interesting job”. It is estimated that the total cost to the British economy due to cybercrime is £27 billion a year (BBC).