North Independent Secondary School of the Year 2020

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OGs get an insight into the world of cybersecurity

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Dr Robert Nowill (OL73), cybersecurity expert, Chairman of Cyber Security Challenge UK and former Head Boy was the guest speaker at the recent Autumn OG meeting in London hosted by Jackie Chalmers (OG65). Dr Nowill gave a fascinating insight into his career and the world of cyber security.

Homeland security runs in Robert Nowill’s family.  His mother had been in the WRNS at GCCS from 1943-1945.  Wavendon, North Crawley and Bletchley Park were old country houses where secret codes were worked on and all those who worked there were sworn to secrecy.  This, according to Robert, is where cybersecurity started. He then brought the group right up to date sharing a ‘live’ FireEye Cyber Threat Map showing the number of cyber-attacks worldwide happening at the present time!  He also had some sound advice for the group to protect themselves against cyber crime including ensuring you have a strong and secure password.  You can check if your data has been breached via https://haveibeenpwned.com/

As Chairman of Cyber Security Challenge UK, he is keen to encourage more students into cyber careers by running competitions and events. They also run courses for young offenders, in conjunction with the National Crime Agency with some former hackers going on to help the authorities with cyber security. Dr Nowill says there is more should be done to encourage students into STEM subjects, leading them into careers in Cyber Security.  At GSAL, STEM subjects remain very popular. Maths and the sciences are some of the most popular subjects to study at A-level with over half of students studying Maths or Further Maths and almost a third choosing Biology, Chemistry or both and achieving excellent results.

Dr Nowill attended the event with his sister, Carol Robinson (OG72) pictured.

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