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Manchester High School for Girls

GETTING TO GRIPS WITH CYBER SECURITY

Manchester High’s Sixth Form students had an opportunity to hear about cyber security when members of the Home Office’s Digital, Data and Technology directorate visited the school on 2nd October.

The girls heard about the complex issues the UK are faced with fighting cyber-crime, got an insight into what cyber security roles made up the team and what skills and attributes were required to fill those roles.

Encouraging women to enter into the field of cyber careers was also one of the key messages that Head of Operations at the Home Office Cyber Security Centre, Ollie Quaye, wanted to convey.

He said: “There are many opportunities to get into cyber technology; from fighting social engineering and hacking to writing books and much more. The current male dominance in cyber security is unbalanced and we need more women to enter the industry as well as people from different backgrounds to ensure diversity within the field.”

E2E assure Senior Analyst, George Sale, illustrated the various paths that his team had taken before their careers in cyber security, dealing with phishing, cyber-attacks and various other challenges. He commented: “We have journalists, graduates, police, council workers, truck drivers and a DJ in our team. We look for people with keen, can-do attitude who can make sense of data and keep us safe.”

Manchester High’s continuing work to highlight the importance of STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) has included fostering a partnership with tech giant, UKFast, and hosting a national ‘CyberFirst Day’. More recently, the School has collaborated with the Home Office Cyber Security Centre to create pieces of art for the centre’s newly refurbished conference and training rooms to celebrate two pioneers of computing and cryptography; Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing.

Ollie Quaye concluded: “We were very impressed with the artwork and we hope that our subsequent talk at MHSG opened students’ eyes to the wide range of opportunities in this constantly changing, challenging and exciting digital world.”