A partnership between the National Crime Agency and Cyber Security Challenge UK is to give students in the UK free access to the online platform ‘CyberLand’ to teach essential cybersecurity skills during the COVID-19 lockdown.

CyberLand is a virtual city that’s comprised of 16 interactive computer game-like modules, that emulate the work of cybersecurity experts defending a city from attack. The platform, designed by Cyber Security Challenge UK, teaches the basics of cybersecurity to 12-18-year-olds, such as firewall configuration and digital forensics, according to Government Computing.

Access to the platform will be free until the end of September 2020.

Jim Stokley, deputy director of the National Crime Agency’s cybercrime unit, said: “Many young people have a keen interest in technology and have developed impressive cyber skills. Part of our work in the National Cyber Crime Unit is to educate them on the laws governing cyberspace and prevent them from committing crimes while online.

“We’ve partnered with Cyber Security Challenge UK to offer free access to their online platform Cyberland where young people will find games that encourage them to improve cyber skills safely and legally.”

According to figures from the National Crime Agency, the age of offenders arrested for cybercrimes tends to be much younger than those involved in other criminality, and in some cases even as young as 12. Analysis of the data from the agency has shown that teens with a keen interest in technology are easily swayed towards cybercrime.

The objective of CyberLand is to allow young people the opportunity to develop cyber skills in a safe environment and helping avoid the risks of unintentionally breaking the law while online.

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