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Lesson in cybersecurity at teachers’ boot camp event

28th February 2020

Northumbria University has teamed up with two leading cyber security organisations to run a boot camp training event for computer science teachers and academics.

The two-day ‘Certified Ethical Hacker’ course will teach attendees how to test for weaknesses in online security systems which could be exploited by malicious hackers.

The aim is to ensure teachers at schools, colleges and universities in the UK have the very latest cybersecurity skills, and can pass these onto their students.

The course is being organised by the International Council of Electronic Commerce Consultants (EC-Council) and the cyber security educators’ community organisation CISSE UK, in partnership with Northumbria University. It will take place at Northumbria’s award-winning Computer and Information Sciences building this weekend.

Northumbria has a strong reputation in the field of cyber security and is an academic partner of the EC-Council, as well as an accredited examination centre for the Certified Ethical Hacker assessment – an internationally recognised qualification.

All final year students on Northumbria’s Computer Networks and Cyber Security BSc (Hons) degree are given the opportunity to undertake the Certified Ethical Hacker exam, receiving a separate qualification from the EC-Council alongside their degree if successful.

Caption:Dr Neil Eliot of Northumbria University's Department of Computer and Information Sciences.Dr Neil Eliot is a Senior Lecturer within Northumbria’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences and has coordinated the University’s partnership with CISSE and the EC-Council which led to this weekend’s boot camp event.

A certified ethical hacker since 2014, Neil believes giving teachers the latest cyber security skills is essential to ensuring students have the skills needed to stay safe in an increasingly digital world.

He said: “So much of our lives are conducted online these days, and while this is often more convenient it also means our personal information is at risk from hackers.

“It is vital that we teach young people about the risks of sharing information online, how to spot a potential threat and what to do if they suspect they are being targeted.

“The best time to do this is while they are studying at school, college or university, before they enter the world of employment, but this means ensuring their teachers are up-to-date with the latest cyber security developments.

“We are delighted to be hosting this first Certified Ethical Hacker boot camp at Northumbria University and hope this is the first of many such events we can offer to educators across the North East and beyond.”

Philip Blake, EC-Council Regional Director (Europe), said: “EC-Council's Academia division strongly believes in supporting faculty, students, and Cybersecurity ecosystems across the world.

“Groups such as CISSE, in partnership with higher education, industry, and government have also been instrumental in influencing Cybersecurity program expansion and development.

“In addition to supporting CISSE (USA), EC-Council Academia is now pleased to support CISSE UK as they partner with Northumbria University to implement EC-Council's tactical Cybersecurity program tracks.

“Our collaborative outcomes will focus on validating knowledge, skill, and ability frameworks to actual job roles in today's industry, providing benchmark certification opportunities while offering confidence and direction for students entering the Cybersecurity career field.”

Dr Charles Clarke of CISSE UK said:” We are delighted to be collaborating with both Northumbria University and EC-Council, on what is a unique and valuable opportunity for academics.

“The cyber security sector evolves both rapidly and continuously, impacting the culture of how this subject is taught and experienced by students in universities.

“Subsequently, cyber security academics face the challenge of perpetually expanding and enhancing both knowledge and skills, in a manner that is time-sensitive and provides the best outcomes for students.

“Attaining industry recognised certifications, is an excellent way for academics to mitigate such challenges, while symbiotically benchmarking, enhancing and validating their proficiencies.

“This Certified Ethical Hacking Weekend Boot Camp, at Northumbria University, is the first of an anticipated series of such events, and is representative of a broader CISSE UK strategy to establish a culture of outstanding, innovative and state-of-the-art cyber security education, in the UK.”

Dr Neil Eliot has now applied for grant funding to carry out a survey of teachers at schools, colleges and universities to find out the level of cyber security education currently being provided across the North of England.

This will identify gaps in provision, raise awareness of the importance of teaching these skills, and shape the planning of future training events.

Neil said: “The young people of today are the business owners of tomorrow and it is essential that they understand how to keep their own information, and that of their future customers and employees, safe from malicious hackers.

“By understanding the current state of play when it comes to cyber security education in schools and colleges we can suggest improvements and design training which will give teachers and academics the skills required.”

Find out more about this weekend’s Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH_v10)Weekend Bootcamp.

Find out more about Northumbria University’s Department of Computer and Information Sciences, CISSE UK, and the EC-Council.

 

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