Needless to say, much has happened (as well as been shifted and rescheduled!) since we last sent an update to our long-standing supporters and stakeholders, back in Spring 2019.
We ended 2020 with plenty of reflection on how grateful we are to be weathering the ongoing storm associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. Here’s a brief summary of our recent success stories.
A new leaf
Since turning the business around and launching a number of new services pre-pandemic in pursuit of our core mission, our community is stronger than ever and continues to grow organically year on year. If you are not already following our latest updates, you’ll find plenty to feel inspired by on the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram as well as Facebook and YouTube – channels that our partners and clients have also continued to leverage, to amplify the success of joint-run initiatives, campaigns and programmes to identify and encourage fresh talent into the cyber security pipeline.
Our not-for-profit organisation consists of a potent mix of in-house staff and external specialists and organisations. Our funding streams are sourced from a combination of public and private sector sponsors and donations, as well as through selling services including event management and production, competitions, online games and, in different times, exhibiting at shows.
Diversity in cyber security
We are pleased to report a positive upward trend when it comes to our commitment to broaden the diversity of the talent pool and our target audience; we published a spotlight series of blogs on socio-economic diversity in which our General Manager discussed ideas and recommendations for how we can reach the next frontier for diversity in cyber security: A Real Opportunity for Lasting Change and Bringing Opportunity to UK regions.
Cyber Security Challenge and the National Crime Agency
As a traditionally remote working organisation our team was largely unhindered by lockdown restrictions when they first came into force back in March, and went on to support the National Crime Agency with their efforts to engage the teen population with their Cyber Choices programme, as youngsters stayed home indefinitely with only their devices for company. CyberLand was the focus of this campaign to promote ethical and lawful attitudes towards cyber security and online safety, as well as support the development of cyber skills. Take a look at the full report: Learning in Lockdown for an overview of what we achieved. The Winter Cyber Challenge ran throughout December, and more collaborative initiatives are planned for 2021 to continue to engage our 70,000 players.
Our partnership with Northrop Grumman and the American Air Force Association continues to thrive. The 2019/2020 National Finals event at Plexal went ahead in February to recognise top teams competing in CyberCenturion VI. We are thrilled that the competition has not suffered any disruption, attracting almost 450 team registrations (matching our best pre-Covid stats). Each virtual qualifying round is going ahead as normal, and we’re now in the midst of planning a virtual finals event for the seventh edition of the competition concluding early next year. All the latest can be found on our CyberCenturion Hub.
We’ve also supported The Royal Signals with their outreach programme as they launched the 13th Cyber Division and celebrated their 100-year anniversary, helped to execute the first ever Gibraltar Cyber Challenge (Rock Defenders launching 2021), alongside a series of regional schools events and initiatives.
We are looking ahead to 2021 with optimism and confidence having learned just how much we can adapt and collaborate in adverse circumstances to ensure the next generation do not miss out on fundamental opportunities to engage with cyber security and STEM.
Take a look around our portfolio of services and activities right here. We’ll be expanding this to include a number of exciting new concepts as our mission to form tomorrow’s cyber security workforce becomes more important than ever. Look out for a virtual careers fair and a new National Competition, among other programmes that promise to deliver tangible benefits to sponsors and developing talent.
More details on how our offering could boost your employer branding for CSR, recruitment and continued professional development will be published in the coming weeks.
In the meanwhile – stay safe, and Happy New Year!