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Govt-backed cyber training – 4th year Early Launch as students go online en-masse

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Fourth year of Cyber ‘Discovery’ is launched early to help the 1,000s of young people who cannot currently attend school.

This govt-backed online cyber-security training campaign has had 65,000 students participating in recent years.

Cyber Discovery – 1st launched in school year 2017/18, has an aim to help remedy the UK’s cyber-security skills issue through attempting to inspire youngsters to embark on a cyber-security career.

SANS Institute

Led by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS); it has been delivered by worldwide IT security training organisation ‘SANS Institute’.

The UK Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman observed “This initiative gives teenagers something fun & educational to do from home and provides a glimpse into the life of a cyber-security professional.

“We have a world-leading cyber sector protecting the country & our digital economy & we must continue to inspire the next generation of talent to help maintain this position.

“As the assessment phase opens I encourage all teens who enjoy a challenge to put their skills to the test.”

Assessment Stage 

This programme includes a 1st assessment stage called  CyberStart Assess; CyberStart Game and CyberStart Essentials, all designed to improve the skills of candidates who have passed through this initial assessment.

Normally, this begins at the Sept. beginning of the new school year, but this year begins June 2.

Students aged 13-18, currently studying away from the classroom, will gain the opportunity to take part in the ‘CyberStart Assess’ phase during Summer 2020.

For those that qualify, the ‘advanced learning’ phases of the programme will start Oct.

James Lyne, CTO at SANS Institute and one of the creators of this programme, commented “Until we see a significant increase in the number of young people entering the security profession the UK’s ability to defend itself against increasingly sophisticated threats will be at risk.

Basics of Cyber-security

“Cyber Discovery is helping to promote cyber-security as a rewarding and highly-valued career choice, using ‘gamification’ to teach and demonstrate the basics of cyber-security including forensics, coding & cryptography – in a safe, challenging & fun way.

“Its programmes such as these that will help the future economy be more tech-savvy and create a safer place to be online and do business. We’ are seeing industry begin to support such initiatives, but more still needs to be done to reduce the skills gap & strengthen the UK’s cyber defences.

Cyber Discovery

“I urge all cyber professionals to join us in encouraging young people to take part in Cyber Discovery ( & other CyberFirst initiatives.”

Cyber Discovery is a part of the government’s wider CyberFirst UK skills programme for young people, with registration online.


Now, more than ever, the more younger people who can both strengthen their cyber-security skills and/or become motivated to pursue a career in this important discipline, the better.

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