Cyber Discovery

21 January 2022

Vidya Ram Story

Students are once again taking part in Cyber Discovery, a government-led programme aimed at 13-18-year-olds who are interested in cyber security.

Cyber Discovery teaches all about cyber security through an interactive platform full of content delivered in the form of challenges that increase in difficulty. It is composed of four stages – Assess, Game, Essentials and Elite. To gain access to the challenges and learning modules in Game and Essentials, the Assess stage must first be passed. The challenges range in both difficulty and skills required from cryptography to JavaScript, all those taking part get a real taste of everything.

Recently, Vidya has taken her SANS foundation cyber security GIAC Certification and also entered the Teen Tech Awards, Vidya has written about her experience below.

“I have recently passed the SANS foundation cyber security fundamentals exam organised and proctored by GIAC. SANS foundation is a global information security thought leader. GIAC stands for Global Information Assurance certification.

In 2020, I signed up for the cyber discovery programme. Cyber Discovery was launched in 2017 as a four-year programme, funded and supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy. It was created and delivered by SANS Institute as a free, extracurricular programme for 13 to 18 year-olds across the UK. More than 100,000 young people took part in Cyber Discovery, progressing from an initial assessment phase into the vast, online cyberlearning platform cyber start.

I completed the various challenges and games. This helped me to qualify for the cyber essential programme, which taught basic cyber offence and defence skills. Once I finished the course, I registered for the exam. By passing this exam, I obtained the above mentioned cyber security fundamentals SANS certificate.”

“Last year, I entered the teen tech awards competition in the data science category. I came up with the idea based on my interest in Geography and coding. For this project, I worked on building a prediction model to forecast when the UK will achieve net-zero emissions status. (prediction: 2048). I learnt python programming language, read about different packages to do forecasting and machine learning.

I was one of the three UK finalists. I gave a presentation of my project and prediction to a panel of judges from industry and academia. Based on the presentation and the broad scope of the topic, I was given the “Big and Bold Award” under the Teentech data science category. The process made me learn a practical application of the python language and allowed me to work with a professional mentor from the industry. Overall, it was a good learning experience.”

by Vidya, Year 10 student