Cyber attacks are gaining more coverage with new attack vectors discovered on a daily basis and are therefore a national priority. The UK Government is supporting activities such as the Cyber Security Challenge UK but the root cause is a lack of capability coming through the UK education system.
The National Cyber Security Strategy for 2016-2021 issued by the Government includes a statement by The Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer – “Digital technology works because it is open, and that openness brings with it risk.” This is followed by an investment of £1.9 billion so support improvement in cyber security and a beefed-up National Cyber Security Centre.
Bett, who pride themselves on transforming the education industry are only offering one seminar session on cyber security at the 2018 event suggests that the importance of this subject is still not in the minds of the educator.
Appropriate security tools and good practice is fundamental to addressing the increasing threats of cyber crime. Although the open source industry provides every tool one could want, it is a steep learning curve which can be a barriers to entry for someone coming from outside the industry.
To remedy this, OpenUK member TLM, an open standards based Ofqual Regulated Awarding Organisation, in conjunction with leading open source companies, has developed a Level 2 qualification for schools and colleges.
Four mandatory units in understanding and analysing the nature of threats and using the correct tools to prevent them are covered in this Level 2 Certificate in Cyber Security and Digital Forensics (QAN 603/1452/7).
Many open source tools and a customised Linux distribution incorporating these tools are utilised. These include:
Practical work is based on the open source LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP).
Funded for up to £940 per learner, this qualification is being submitted for 2020 Post-16 Performance Points. Full details can be found on the TLM website. Courses are publicly funded if they are approved by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Qualifications can be searched by their QAN number or title on the Ofqual register, funding links are at the bottom of each qualification search page.
This qualification adds to the existing Level 2 Open Systems IT Management qualification which is mapped against the LPI Linux Essentials certification and also attracts funding to £940.
TLM was founded by Ian Lynch who was one of the founder members of the OSC (Open Source Consortium) and an active member of organisations such as Open Office and the Apache Foundation. TLM uses open source applications almost exclusively for its applications and services and the qualifications are all based on an understanding of open source and open standards. Students would not be able to pass the examinations without knowledge of things such as the GPL. TLM will continue to support and promote the use and deployment of open source software and practices throughout its range of qualifications.