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GCHQ wants to hire wider range of online security experts

GCHQ is seeking to hire a wider range of online security experts.

The intelligence service is setting up all-female classes in cyber-skills in a bid to tackle the issue, with GCHQ's cyber-defence arm, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), observing that nearly 90 percent of the cyber-skills workforce worldwide is male.

There is a need to "address the imbalance", according to Chris Ensor of the NCSC.

And Aisling Brown, curriculum leader at the Stephen Perse Foundation school in Cambridge, has argued that teaching boys and girls separately in computing can reap a significant benefit.

Explaining the differences, Aisling said: "Girls are sometimes more reflective and take time to volunteer answers, while boys can tend to rush."

Meanwhile, the NCSC recently warned shoppers about the risk of "malicious" online threats.

Ian Levy, the cyber-agency's technical director, said: "Staying safe online doesn't require deep technical knowledge, and we want the whole country to know that the NCSC speaks the same language as them.

"With so many of the UK shopping online, we want to see these tips shared from classrooms and scout groups to family dinner tables and old people's homes."

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