Online aptitude test to spot UK's next cyber-warriors

An information security company has launched an online aptitude assessment to test cyber potential in candidates that could lead to scholarships worth £30,000.

The SANS Institute has created the test to allow those interested in cyber security to gauge the quality of their skills, and identify the top performers. It was designed by cyber experts and trainers to assess the innate abilities needed for careers in cyber security.

Those who show the most flair to fill roles in government and industry will be offered scholarships for the prestigious SANS Cyber Academy – an eight week intensive boot camp offering world class cyber security training worth up to £30,000.

The assessment is free and open to anyone and includes approximately 40 multiple-choice questions which must be completed within 45 minutes. Some questions test existing IT and security knowledge such as networking concepts, security procedures, programming languages, and hardware. Others pose maths problems, comprehension tests and logic puzzles to look at personality traits.

Participants will receive a summary report showing their strengths and weaknesses in different areas of cyber security, and a benchmark ranking against others who have taken the assessment. All results will be confidential and the anonymised data will also help SANS to work with the UK government to identify skills gaps and inform cyber skills policy and funding.

SANS will award top performers with the Cyber Academy scholarships led by instructor James Lyne, a crash course in cyber security as it will compress a typical two-year SANS training into two months. At the end of the programme, graduates will be GIAC certified and the Academy will look to match graduates to suitable jobs in industry and government.

Those who want to give it a try can apply for a unique entry code by filling in the form at or emailing with their name, organisation (if relevant), phone and email.

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