British Students Learn About Ethical Hacking

Becoming a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) can be a smart career move and can also be incredibly lucrative with average salaries of $90k. Right now, UK students are being actively recruited to help strengthen cyber security  using ethical hacking methods as the skills shortage leaves businesses highly vulnerable to attack.

The South West Cyber Resilience Centre (SWCRC) has announced a partnership with Bristol’s UWE (University of the West of England) to work with students with expertise in ethical hacking and cyber security. 

The SWCRC is a not-for-profit operation led by the police, in partnership with the private sector and academics, and facilitated by Business Resilience International Management (BRIM), which works with the Home Office on preventing cyber crime.

“Our role at the SWCRC is to support smaller businesses and charities to strengthen their cyber resilience and to make this support either free, or very accessible and affordable,” said Mark Moore, director at SWCRC and a serving police superintendent with Devon and Cornwall Police. “One service we’ve been keen to offer is ethical hacking, and working with students means we get the relevant levels of expertise at an affordable cost.
“We pay the students for the levels of work they commit to, and they get to deploy their skills in a business setting, so it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

Ethical hacking involves the testing of an IT system with the knowledge and permission of its owner so that the strengths and weaknesses of the system are exposed and tested.

  • It involves studying the mindset, tools and techniques of hackers and penetration testers to learn how to identify, triage and correct vulnerabilities in software and computer networks. 
  • Ethical hacking is the process of attempting to penetrate computer systems and networks with the intention of locating weaknesses and vulnerabilities (real and potential) that could be exploited by malicious hackers. Any information uncovered is then used to improve the system’s security and plug loopholes. 

Studying ethical hacking can be useful to employees in a variety of job roles, including network defence, risk management, software developer, quality assurance tester, management and legal. It’s a widely used technique employed by multinational organisations to find the vulnerabilities of their cyber security but it’s harder for small organisations to tap into, due to resource shortages and the costs involved.

A recent survey by SWCRC showed that smaller business owners are wary of committing to cyber security because they fear unexpected costs in upgrading systems and software licenses. Employing SWCRC Student Services means that business owners benefit from impartial advice which they can trust.

Dr Phil Legg, associate professor in cyber security at UWE, said: "At UWE we are keen to support our students through academic study but also more broadly to think about their future employability and skills development.
“Working with the SWCRC has been a perfect opportunity for our students - they get to put their academic skills to the test to help secure industry partners in the region within a supportive environment, to gain the valuable experience that prospective employers will be looking for".

Some things to think about when deciding which ethical cyber hacking course is right for you:  

Don’t go in over your head: Some courses assume a certain level of background knowledge, while others are targeted at complete beginners. Choose a course that’s at the right level for you.

Consider minimum requirements: Bear in mind that you’ll need specific software to follow some courses, so be prepared to gather some resources if needed.

Look for special offers:  Paid courses are often of higher quality, but they can get pricey. However, many companies run special offers so you end up paying very little for a superior-quality course.

Watch out for scammers: Unethical hackers prey on amateurs, so be careful you don’t sign up with unethical hackers who promise to teach you the ropes.

One useful resource to look at when considering ethical hacking training is Comparitech,  a website providing information, tools, reviews and comparisons to help students and potential re-training workers in the US, UK and the rest of the world, with the aim to improve their cyber security and privacy online and potentially get jobs in ethical cyber hacking.

Plymouth Herald:      Cornwall Live:     Daily Advent:    Flipboard:    Infosec Institute:   IT Pro

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