Leigh University Technical College tackles the cyber threat

March 2015

Leigh University Technical College (UTC) and MASS, a Cohort plc company, are working together to tackle cybersecurity issues in schools. In a first for the college, MASS delivered lessons on cyber security to Year 10 and 12 students at the school to raise awareness of the cyber threat facing students and schools alike.

The lessons were delivered by an Information Assurance Consultant from MASS, a high technology business operating in the Defence, Security and Education markets. 

The session was designed to raise the profile of cybersecurity amongst students and highlighted the importance of being safe online and protecting personal information. The students were shown how to recognise the threats that could affect Information and Communication Technology (ICT) environments and the steps they can take to reduce the risks.

Working with Leigh UTC, and as part of the school’s BTEC IT curriculum, MASS took the students through a threat workshop to demonstrate how their school projects could be compromised through confidentiality, integrity or availability. It also demonstrated to students and staff alike how the reputation of the college could be affected following such a compromise.  

The students were provided with cyber tactics and strategies for consideration to protect against a variety of potential threats, and were asked to show how they would avoid the risks.

As a high technology business, MASS designs, builds and operates some of the UK Government's most secure IT systems.  MASS also employs highly qualified Information Assurance specialists who can identify an organisation’s vulnerabilities, and then design and build tailored secure solutions.  In light of this, the lessons also aimed to give an insight into the industry as a prospective career path. 

Bradley Good, a student at Leigh UTC, said: "Most of our lessons are now dependent on technology and the internet.  I didn’t fully understand the cyber threat facing us and the school on a daily basis.  These lessons have given me great insight into the importance of cyber-security, and I would encourage everyone to take advantage so that they can recognise the cyber risks facing them."

Stephen Leahey, Principal at The Leigh UTC commented "These lessons were invaluable in the cyber-security education they provided to our students and staff members alike. There's no doubt that as more and more of our lives rely upon the internet, the need for capable, security-savvy institutions increases. With a STEM shortage continuing to plague the UK workforce, these lessons will also help to equip students with the skills they need in today’s world. By ensuring cybersecurity is integral to education at all ages, we will help equip the UK with the professional and technical skills we need for long-term economic growth."

Ashley Lane, Managing Director of MASS, said: "Cyber security continues to pose a significant threat to us all.  It is important to nurture interest amongst the next generation of cyber experts as well as educating students with these increasingly important life skills.  We have first-hand knowledge of the cyber environment and the associated risks, and keeping up with the constantly changing nature of cyber-threats is a challenge for everyone.  By working together we can ensure effective measures are put in place to keep our schools and the students safe."

Specialist from MASS with year 12 students at Leigh UTC

Specialist from MASS with year 12 students at Leigh UTC