bletchley park

Cyber security college planned at Bletchley Park

The UK's first National College of Cyber Security is set to open at Bletchley Park, the home of Second World War codebreakers.

Cyber security is becoming an increasingly prominent issue, with TalkTalk suffering a series of data breaches last year and more recently customers with Tesco Bank losing money from their accounts following an online attack on the service.

It was at Bletchley Park that Alan Turing and his team of computer scientists and codebreakers unravelled the Enigma coding system used by the Nazis during the Second World War, an achievement it has been claimed significantly shortened the war and saved millions of lives in the process.

Now a new cyber security body called QUFARO@Bletchley Park, which includes experts from the National Museum of Computing and BT Security, has announced plans to create a college for 16 to 19-year-olds to learn key cyber security skills.

Alastair MacWilson, chair of Qufaro and the Institute of Information Security Professionals said: "Our cyber education and innovation landscape is complex, disconnected and incomplete putting us at risk of losing a whole generation of critical talent.

"For those interested in forging a career in cyber, the current pathway is filled with excellent but disparate initiatives - each playing a vital role without offering a truly unified ecosystem of learning and support. By connecting what already exists and filling the gaps, Qufaro will make it easier for budding professionals to grow their cyber security skills at every stage of their journey, and contribute more to the sector as a result."

The college will select "only the most talented and skilled students" and will combine its syllabus with modules in complementary subjects including maths, computer science and physics.

A £5m restoration of buildings on the Bletchley Park site will be complete before the college opens in 2018. A new range of online courses are also set to be created, aimed at those who are interested in a career change.

The Cyber Security Challenge 2016 was launched earlier this month by the National Crime Agency and other partners in order to match capable cyber experts with employers. 

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