GCHQ Cyber First Girls Development Day

GCHQ Cyber First Girls Development Day

On the 30th of June 2016, 11 students (Tasha Bowe, Emily Hamby, Eve Ison, Jess Merrin, Emma Money, Lottie Robinson, Pippa Tanner, Megan Trewhitt, Evie Withington, Catherine Wood) in the 4th Year took part in an event hosted by Bradford University and GCHQ aimed at highlighting the career opportunities available to women in the Cyber security sector. In total there were over a hundred girls in attendance from a variety of schools in Yorkshire.

The morning consisted of several lectures by women in Cyber Security such as the Managing Director of Bob’s Business, Melanie Oldham, who has won business women of the year recently. Then the students had their first session in which they learnt about networking and intercepting messages. They played a game to demonstrate how information gets extracted from an IT network, there were four participants and the only two students who completed the task successfully were from Ripon Grammar School.

After lunch, the students were informed how to find information on Google using specific searching techniques. Using their own computers they were challenged to find out information about criminals who upload fake information onto the internet.

In the last of the three sessions, they had to write a hoax email enticing people into giving credit card details (phishing) and other personal information. People wrote emails impersonating Spotify, Barclays and Snapchat. They also were taught how to spot the difference between hoax emails and real emails.

In the Autumn there will be a national online challenge drawn from female school teams aged 14/15 years and where the top teams will be invited to a ‘grand final’ held in Spring 2017. As part of the National Cyber Security Programme, this is a concerted nationwide effort to inspire a new generation of young women into a career in Cyber.

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Article written by Pippa Tanner, Charlotte Robinson and Emma Money