School pupils to attend cyber crime lecture at RGU

Robert Gordon University (RGU) will play host to more than 300 school children from Aberdeen City and Shire on Thursday (Dec 19) as part of a series of cyber crime events organized by the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA).

Students at Laptop News EventThe SICSA Christmas Cyber Security Lecture series was first established last year with the aim of bringing children together for an exciting session of talks on cyber crime, led by some of the country’s foremost experts in the field.

Speakers at the event, which is also being held at the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh Napier and Abertay over the course of the week, will include some of the brightest academics in the field, along with representatives from Police Scotland and security experts from Dell SecureWorks and TrendMicro.

Head of the School of Computing Science and Digital Media at RGU, Professor Ian Allison, said: “We are delighted to welcome the SICSA Christmas Lecture series back to RGU following a great response from those pupils and teachers who attended from around Aberdeen City and Shire last year.

“It is important that we continue to highlight the varied opportunities which exist within this sector to pupils at an early stage.”

The SICSA Director, Professor Rod Murray-Smith, said: “We are keen to attract the brightest students to study computing science. It is well-known that the shortfall in skilled software in the workplace in Scotland makes studying computing a good start to a career.

“With the choice of the cyber security theme for this year’s lectures we also hope to excite school children about the important role of computing science in making the benefits of our increasingly high-tech society resilient to natural disasters, as well as criminal and terrorist threats. It is great to see that every group of lectures has been a complete sell-out.”

The UK Government National Security Strategy categorizes cyber crime as a Tier 1 threat to our national security alongside terrorism and pledged £650m in 2011 to tackle the problem. In parallel with this however, the UK is grappling with a massive skills gap with many UK companies struggling to recruit adequately skilled cyber security professionals. 

Event organizer, Dr Martin Beaton, said: “It is a great pleasure to be touring these lectures around Scotland. We hope that by getting school pupils interested in cyber security and raising the profile of the career through entertaining talks, we can start to address the 20 year cyber security skills gap that the UK Government has identified. This year’s lecture series is now five times larger than last year and we hope it will continue to grow year on year.”