Cyber Security Challenge UK launches charitable foundation to boost accessibility and diversity in cyber security

Cyber Security Challenge UK has launched a brand new charity, the Cyber Challenge Foundation, which aims to support accessibility and diversity in cyber security, with an emphasis in supporting those from a disadvantaged background.

Launched 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 across the country.

With a predicted 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 Report highlighted that one in ten 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 within the cyber security profession. According to industry association (ISC)2, only 11% of the UK cyber security workforce is female (7% global average) and only 12% are from ethnic minorities. There are also clear correlations with geographical location and the likelihood of possessing digital skills, according to a report by Ipsos Mori.

Nigel Harrison, acting Chief Executive at Cyber Security Challenge UK said: “At the Challenge we are continually working to encourage diversity throughout the cyber security industry. It was Stephanie’s vision to expand this work and provide real help to those who struggle to find support in the usual places. Diversity increases creativity, productivity and culture, and at a time when the cyber security threat continues to grow, making this sector more accessible is a logical and much-needed step.”

Cyber Security Challenge UK will raise capital for the Foundation through corporate sponsorship, fundraising events and private donations with the first fundraising evening, in partnership with BT, taking place during the Challenge’s Masterclass competition on Monday 13th November.

For more information about the charity, applications to grants and how to donate please contact foundation@cybersecuritychallenge.org.uk.

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