The first boot camp to get young people working in cybersecurity, has been set up. The group behind the four-day camp at Lancaster University says schools need to do more to make young people aware that it is a career option.
Online attacks are rated among the biggest threats to the UK alongside international terrorism, making cybersecurity a rapidly growing industry because of the increasing threat against people, businesses and government. GCHQ, the UK's information surveillance service, says the government is targeted by 1,000 cyber-attacks every month, while cybercrime is thought to cost businesses and the government £27 billion a year.
During the day, the group are given a number of computer-related tasks. In one scenario, they are told that they face a nuclear threat. They are split into two teams and are told to break into the IT systems of each other's nuclear plant.People frantically tap at their keyboards trying to stay one step ahead. When a team loses, sirens go off and TV footage shows their nuclear plant in flames. They are then briefed by cybersecurity experts.
There has been a rise in university courses teaching cybersecurity, according to Ucas figures. There are 79 courses being advertised for cybersecurity for 2013 entry compared to 69 for 2012.
According to Judy Baker, Cyber Security Challenge founder: "Schools don't touch on cybersecurity at all and they are not doing very well in the IT technology area."Baker wants schools to do more to attract people into the industry. "There are not enough people coming through as there isn't a pipeline in place," she says.
The Department of Education said they were ensuring that pupils were getting the IT skills they needed through new technology like Raspberry Pi.
They also said they had given schools complete control over their budgets to buy in the support from careers providers to give pupils face-to-face guidance about their future.