Cyber and Fraud Centre – Scotland and Abertay University empower Ethical Hackers with real-world experience

30/05/2023
Students at Abertay University's Ethical Hacking Showcase

THE CYBER and Fraud Centre – Scotland is providing opportunities for ethical hackers to gain practical experience in the field while studying. The Centre and Abertay University’s collaboration aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry, providing students with real-world scenarios and experience in a safe and controlled environment.  

Through their partnership with Abertay University, the Cyber and Fraud Centre allows students to actively contribute to the Centre’s professional cyber services. This includes conducting vulnerability scans on organisations’ IT infrastructure and engaging in phishing resilience exercises, utilising advanced facilities and tools.  

The ethical hacking students at the Centre also facilitate the Exercise in a Box programme. This programme offers organisations a hands-on opportunity to navigate realistic cyber threat scenarios, enabling them to assess their response capabilities and identify areas for improvement in their cyber security posture. By applying the theoretical knowledge acquired in the classroom to actual situations, ethical hacking students emerge as well-rounded professionals prepared to combat emerging cyber threats. 

Located at Abertay University’s cyberQuarter, a state-of-the-art hub for cyber security research, development, and economic growth, the Cyber and Fraud Centre’s team of 25+ ethical hackers are at the forefront of innovation. As one of the 11 founding partners of the cyberQuarter, the Cyber and Fraud Centre understand the value of an environment that nurtures collaboration.  

The achievements of the Centre’s ethical hacking team are commendable. They have developed a range of invaluable online resources for organisations and individuals, such as the popular ’An Introduction to Cyber Security Guide.’ Since its release last August, this guide has been downloaded over 1,000 times from the CyberScotland Portal, equipping users with the essential knowledge to safeguard against cyber threats. Furthermore, the team recently unveiled the ‘Cyber Strategy Guide for Small Organisations,’ a comprehensive and accessible resource that empowers small organisations to develop robust cyber strategies. This free guide illustrates the team’s commitment to making cyber security guidance easily accessible and actionable. 

The ethical hacking team’s contributions extend beyond resource development. They provide regular cyber threat updates for the Cyber and Fraud Centre’s Threat Intelligence Portal and the CyberScotland Technical Bulletin, ensuring organisations remain informed about the latest threats and are given effective mitigation strategies. In addition, their informative blogs offer practical advice on cyber-related issues, presenting organisations with easily digestible preventative measures to strengthen their defences. 

Heidi Domagala, a first-year ethical hacking student working at the Centre, said:  

“My experience at the Cyber and Fraud Centre has been invaluable in enhancing my understanding of the pervasive cyber threats we encounter daily, often without even realising it. As a first-year student, I actively contribute to the Centre’s Exercise in a Box sessions alongside my fellow hackers.  

Studying at Abertay University provides me with a solid foundation for acquiring the necessary skills to navigate the cyber world. However, working at the Centre allows me to apply those skills in ways that extend beyond the academic setting. By the time I graduate, I will be equipped with the confidence and capabilities to make valuable contributions to the field.” 

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