It's easy to assume that current circumstances in the UK have pressed pause on everyday cybercrime enforcement. However, the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) of the UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) along with UK Policing continue working to keep internet users safe from hackers, malware, DDoS attacks, and more, including those operating in the online gaming world.
If you've ever flirted with the idea of working for the NCCU, or in the cybersecurity field in general, now - more than ever - is a great time to make use of some of the great learning resources available online; especially as many of us suddenly find ourselves with a lot more free time on our hands.
There are lots of free training resources out there, both government sponsored and those offered by local colleges. Some offer cyber security competency courses that you could feasibly complete and gain industry recognised certification within the next 2 – 3 months, with many offering online examinations unaffected by current containment measures.
Cisco Networking Academy, for example, offers free online courses in Linux OS, Python, and other cyber security disciplines, all provided by a world leader in computer networking technology. There's also Raspberry Pi Projects, which teaches the basics of coding and the Linux OS. Code Academy offers free online training in a wide array of coding languages, supported with an excellent library of video tutorials and contributions from leading academic institutions. Be sure to stay tuned to more opportunities coming soon from Cyber Discovery and Cyber First; two government programs that are sponsored by DCMS and NCSC respectively.
The cybersecurity sector is in great need of fresh, new talent, and therefore offers above average salaries. If you're someone who has spent time learning to code, setting up and administering online servers, or creating mods for some of your favourite games, the likelihood is you've already developed key skills that could give you an edge in a career in cybersecurity.
Whatever you get up to online during these unusual times, make sure you stay safe and on the right side of the law. The Computer Misuse Act tells you all you need to know about the laws that govern the cybersphere, and can help you determine when harmless cyber activity - gaming or otherwise - can descend into cybercrime.
To learn more about the opportunities to develop cyber security skills and the work that UK law enforcement is doing to prevent talented youngsters becoming involved in cybercrime, please visit the Cyber Choices website.