Commissioner sees USW’s leading cyber security academy

Sophia Mulcaster, 19, and Ameir Hussain, 25, who are both from Newport and are new students of the Newport-based NCSA, chatted to Sir Julian King about the cyber challenges during his visit. Neil Gibson, September 2017

Sophia Mulcaster, 19, and Ameir Hussain, 25, who are both from Newport and are new students of the Newport-based NCSA, chatted to Sir Julian King about the cyber challenges during his visit.


New students at the University of South Wales-based National Cyber Security Academy (NCSA) welcomed a special VIP on their first day.

Sir Julian King, Commissioner for the Security Union in the European Commission, paid a visit to the NCSA, which is based at the University’s Newport Campus, to hear about the work new BSc Applied CyberSecurity students will be doing during their three-year degree course. He also met NCSA business partners, who work together with the students to identify cyber threats.

During the visit, Sir Julian – who has responsibility for cybersecurity and digital intelligence - heard about the work of the NCSA, how its students are being trained to help fill a gap in the number of cybersecurity-trained personnel, and how the partner companies are working with the NCSA to solve real-world online security problems.   

“I’m glad to be here today,” said Sir Julian. “Cyber security is very, very important, not just in the UK but all across the European Union.

“There has been a step-change in public awareness of the scale of cyber security, and I think this is one of the places where we are trying to do something about that.


“I think what the University is doing is great. It seems to be very hands on and applied, I like the close relationship that you’ve got with key business partners, and you’re addressing directly one of the key challenges that we’ve been pointing to from the European Commission, which is the skills shortage.

“We’re going to need to do a lot of work to build our resilience, to build deterrence, to fight cyber criminals and others who try to use cyber against us, to boost international co-operation. But, if any of that is going to work, we need to address the skills gap.”

Stephen Biggs, Head of the NCSA, added: “The work we are doing here has one ultimate aim, and that is to train the next generation of cyber security specialists, who will need to be at the cutting edge when it comes to understanding ever-evolving cyber threats.

“It is forecast that, by 2019, an additional 4.5 million personnel will be needed worldwide to work in cyber. That’s only two years away, so we need to ensure that we work hard to help to address the problem. 

“Sir Julian was impressed with the work we are doing, and was particularly keen to understand how the students on our courses work with industry partners to identify and solve real-world challenges that businesses are facing as cyber criminals become ever more creative.”   

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