Cyber Security Challenge UK is setting up charitable foundation to boost accessibility and diversity in cyber security, with an emphasis on supporting those from a disadvantaged background.
The Cyber Challenge Foundation was launched in London in memory of Cyber Security Challenge UK’s late chief executive, Stephanie Daman.
The foundation aims to fulfil her vision of creating a support system for individuals across the UK who may be looking to learn cyber security but do not have the means to do so. The foundation will provide grants towards the provision of education, training, mentoring and hardship relief.
With a predicted worldwide shortfall of 1.8 million skilled cyber security workers by 2022, the industry is crying out for talented individuals to consider cyber security as a viable career path.
Yet, in the UK, there are still millions of adults who do not have even the most basic digital skills, through the absence of technology and internet access, lack of education and insufficient funds.
Earlier this year, the government’s Digital skills strategy reportrevealed that one in 10 adults have in the UK have never even used the internet.
By providing better accessibility to the industry, the Cyber Challenge Foundation seeks to promote better diversity in the cyber security profession.
According to industry association (ISC)2, women make up only 11% of the UK cyber security workforce, while only 12% are from ethnic minorities. There are also clear correlations between geographical location and the likelihood of possessing digital skills, according to an Ipsos Mori report.
Nigel Harrison, acting chief executive at Cyber Security Challenge UK, said: “At the Cyber Security Challenge we are continually working to encourage diversity throughout the cyber security industry.