11-year-olds to be taught cyber security

By Danielle Middleton topicIcon Internet News

Calls for greater internet security and regulations

Plans have been announced to teach children as young as 11 about careers in cyber security, with UK schools to be given new learning materials in an effort to publicise jobs in the sector.

A recent report by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills revealed that there was a huge skills shortage in this industry within the UK, and this is largely due to the limited awareness of cyber security as a profession.

High profile cyber-attacks have drawn greater focus to the importance of internet security in recent months. On Tuesday 4th March, the Ukraine revealed it believed Russian forces to be behind a series of cyber-attacks on the country, including the disruption of mobile phone communications of members of the Ukrainian parliament.

The importance of increased cyber security

Experts have stated that at present, the UK is at risk of being left at a global disadvantage with regards to cyber security, that not only puts private businesses and citizens at risk, but public entities such as the police and the intelligence agencies. Security consultant Graham Cluley said:

"The authorities, including the police and intelligence agencies, need experts in computer security to combat online criminals and thwart internet attacks... My worry would be that public authorities will not have the budget to properly pay for cyber security expertise, and the best talent will remain in silos in private enterprise instead."

This is not the first call for increased skills in cyber security, and comes only days after whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared via video link at the SXSW festival. Snowden urged the digital community to protect people's internet privacy in the absence of government regulations, suggesting that the key to internet security was to make it more expensive for governments to collect data.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee's "Magna Carta"

Speaking exactly 25 years after writing the first draft of the first proposal for what would become the world wide web, computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee stated in an interview with The Guardian that he believes an online "Magna Carta" is necessary. Suggesting "We need a global constitution - a bill of rights" in order to protect the independence and rights of internet users around the world. He said:

"Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what's happening at the back door, we can't have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It's not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it."

Sir Berners-Lee's Magna Carta plan is to become part of an initiative titled "the web we want", which will see contributors from each country generate a digital bill of rights with the hope that this will gain the support of governments and public institutions.

Adrian Mursec, head of development at theEword said: "It has been clear for a long time that the UK is falling behind in the digital sector, but cyber security is an area where we can't afford to let things slip further.

"This is particularly evident when we look at the spate of cyber attacks that have had serious knock-on effects in recent months; including high profile incidents in the Ukraine and catastrophically for Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox."