Cyber security jobs news roundup: February 2023
We’re rounding up some of the biggest cyber security stories of the past few weeks. In February, the UK organised an international cyber warfare exercise, the government announced plans to support women returning to STEM jobs, funding for Northern Ireland’s cyber security industry was announced and 13 teams were victorious in the NCSC’s cyber contest for girls.
UK leads Western Europe’s largest cyber warfare exercise
The biggest military-led cyber exercise in Western Europe took place in Estonia, involving 34 teams from 11 countries operating in a live cyber security battle. Organised by the British Army, Defence Cyber Marvel 2 (DCM2) was a seven-day competition in which teams were judged on their speed, effectiveness and how quickly they adapted to new threats.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace commented: “The modern battlefield is evolving at an unprecedented pace; it is therefore vital that our personnel are trained to adapt quickly in this crucial domain and can recognise cyber threats with capability and speed.”
The event allowed the Armed Forces, including the British Army, Royal Navy and RAF, to share knowledge with and learn from other nations including Japan, Italy, Kenya and Oman. The defence sector continues to improve the skills needed to respond to non-traditional threats with projects like the Defence Cyber Academy and the Cyber Aptitude Assessment.
Government to support women returning to STEM jobs
More women will be supported to return to work, following the launch of a government-backed training programme. The scheme is enabled by a £150,000 investment and will be coordinated by Women Returners and STEM Returners, targeting those who took lengthy breaks to care for others and equipping them with the skills needed to succeed.
Maria Caulfield MP, minister for women, said: “STEM jobs make up a large proportion of our economy, but there is a shortage in employees and 75,000 returners who want to get back to work. We know there are women across the country who have left their jobs to care for elderly relatives or children, and want to return to work.”
The government has already funded 25 returner programmes across the public and private sectors, including a £1.5 million grant to facilitate projects focused on social workers and health professionals.
Northern Ireland to receive significant cyber security investment
The UK government has announced an £18.9 million investment in Northern Ireland’s cyber security industry, including £11 million to develop a strong pipeline of experts through the deal. The funding is set to create new opportunities and help businesses and startups develop in the sector.
Minister of state for Northern Ireland, Steve Baker MP, added: “The funding will have an immediate positive impact on Northern Ireland’s cyber sector. We have world-class talent and expertise, and the government is committed to developing cyber security professionals here and across the UK.”
The investment will also support the creation of a new Cyber-AI Hub at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) in Belfast, providing new jobs and developing AI-assisted cyber security initiatives.
UK pupils become NCSC cyber contest champions
Thirteen teams of UK schoolgirls across the country were crowned champions of the NCSC cyber contest for girls after winning the nationwide challenge. The competition involved thousands of girls aged 12 and 13, all of whom looked to pursue their interests and a career in cyber security, where only 22 per cent of the total workforce is women.
This year, more than 8,700 entrants across the UK were tasked with challenging topics, including networking, cryptography and artificial intelligence. Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber growth, said: “Congratulations to all the teams taking part in this year’s competition and especially to those who emerged victorious in their respective finals.”
For the full list of winners, visit the NCSC website. All 13 champions have been invited to a grand prize-giving ceremony and dinner day, set to take place later in 2023.