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Empower Cyber 2022

On the 25th November, eight volunteers from Digital Intelligence provided the BAE participation in the EmPower Cyber 2022 event. This event brought together approximately 800 Year 8 girls from a range of Gloucestershire schools and 20 Cyber organisations. Each of the industries involved ran a cyber-security themed workshop eight times over the course of the day.

The key aims of the event were to:

  • Educate and inspire students about Cyber Security
  • Demonstrate to them to types of companies and people whom work in the sector
  • Inspire more girls to consider careers within the Cyber Security industry

The day was an incredibly energetic (& exhausting!) experience, which did an excellent job of meeting its aims. This was probably best represented by the massive difference in the show of hands at the start and the end of the event when  the audience was asked “Who is considering a career in Cyber?”. The show of hands went from around 1% of the audience to close to 50% by the end of the day.

For the Digital Intelligence workshop, we put the students in the role of UK Law Enforcement officers whom needed to recover a password, which would release the UK from a bad Ransomware outbreak (think wannacry). Only we switched out a Ransomware-infected computer for a locked prize-chest (filled with BAE-branded swag). This provided a backdrop to take the students through three aspects of Cyber Security:

  • Watching packets go through a network (after creating their own wiretap…)
  • Working through the html of an intercepted webpage to find the password
  • Performing some simple decryption to recover the password.

The DI participants found the event an incredibly rewarding experience to be a part of, with the highlights most definitely being the looks of ‘this is cool!’ when the students pulling apart wires and the realisation that dawns on them that this is something that they can both do AND find enjoyment in!

Thanks to all of the Digital Intelligence volunteers whom participated in the day including our very own Christi Foster and Jo-Ann Paveley. We’ll certainly be on the look-out for getting involved in the 2023 edition of the event!

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