News Article

CyberFest 2017

Students learn how the cyber world impacts on everyone today.

News article - 3 Feb 2017

Learning and having fun was the order of the day at CyberFest, an event recently staged at the University of Gloucestershire on 27 January. The aim was to inspire students into the world of Cyber through a mix of educational and fun activities, and saw over 100 Year 10 and 12 students from local schools taking part. The key address was given by Director GCHQ, Robert Hannigan who spoke of the vast technology changes that have taken place over the last 20 years and significantly, the on-going leaps forward in technology we will continue to see in the future. He said:

"All aspects of our lives are becoming connected with the internet of things. CyberFest aims to inspire the next generation who will be part of the coming innovation revolution."

Director encouraged all the students to try out the latest technology on display and enjoy it. 

Industry experts Northrup Grumman, QA, Sopra Steria, and BT all showcased Tech stands where students were able to try out interesting technology, such as virtual reality headsets that have real world applications including aiding surgeons to conduct complicated surgery.  Students also had a chance to see and use an Enigma machine, sending encrypted messages to each other and deciphering them. Wii Remote and Raspberry Pi hardware was used to show how you can create remote control vehicles. 

Cyber Workshops used a variety of different ways to show how DDOS attacks happen and how internet protocols and encryption work. All with the aim of showing the students that in the connected world we should be able to recognise online threats and create better passwords.

With the UK Cyber Security skills shortage, we hope we inspired students to continue their studies in computer sciences and to perhaps think of a career in cyber security at GCHQ or at the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) - the UK authority on cyber security. The NCSC's purpose is to reduce the risk to the UK by improving our cyber security and cyber resilience. 

Whatever career choices are made, we hope their experience helps them run cyber secure businesses, create better passwords, and more importantly, stay safe online. 

More photos of CyberFest 2017 are available in our Gallery.


Mr Hannigan talking on stage in a large and full auditorium
GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan giving the keynote speech at CyberFest. ©GCHQ 2017


The popping pin and balloons are clearly seen on the cars. That pin looks sharp!
A remote-control car game at CyberFest 2017. ©GCHQ 2017