Cyber-Attack Prevention for Plymouth Businesses Combating the Digital Skills Gap

13 October 2017 | College News

A prominent cyber-security training and consultancy company has joined forces with City College Plymouth to help local businesses in the fight against cyber-attacks and to combat the UK’s digital skills gap.

When the ‘WannaCry’ ransomeware attack that recently hit the NHS, and other organisations in 150 countries, was stopped by Devonian computer expert Marcus Hutchins, it highlighted the need for businesses at all levels to have well-trained IT specialists who can form a robust defence against cyber-crimes.

Organisations in Plymouth will now be able to upskill their information technology (IT) staff and defend themselves with help from City College and distinguished local cyber-security training and consultancy company, Bluescreen IT (BIT). The firm, based in Plymouth, count NATO and the UK Government amongst their clients and have held Microsoft Gold Certified Partner status – the highest accreditation the global tech giant can bestow on an independent company – for the past five years. They are also the only provider in the country with GCHQ accreditation for the delivery of their security courses.

Michael Dieroff, Managing Director of BIT, said: “Our company has a proven track record of successfully delivering a range of IT and cyber-security courses to help businesses sure up their defences against the ever-changing threats from online malware. Formalising our partnership with City College will enable us to support organisations in the region in training their staff to develop, manage, maintain and protect the systems and networks that are so fundamental to any modern business’ success.”

Michael is also Chairman of the Digital Policy Alliance’s Security Skills and Partnerships group, which is directly responsible for helping the UK Government shape policy and strategy around the development of skills in the cyber-security industry. The fast-evolving nature of the threats means that there is a global shortage of cyber-security and IT professionals who are trained to the required levels. The Government estimates that the UK’s own digital skills gap is estimated to be costing the economy £63billion a year. It is hoped that the delivery of this suite of Network Management and Cyber-Security courses at the College will help to close this gap and ensure the availability of affordable IT support and cyber-security both in Plymouth and across the region.

Pauline Hands, Director of Marketing, Business Engagement and Enterprise at City College, said: “Our Regional Centre of Excellence for STEM will be the new hub of digital training in the City and we’re excited to add cyber-security to our offer. Our partnership with BIT is evidence of our commitment to provide local organisations with access to cutting-edge training and development opportunities. Plymouth is establishing itself as a global digital hub and we want to support our local businesses to not only be at the forefront of technological developments, but to protect themselves in this digital age.”

Those who take the courses at the College could save 50% off the cost of their Microsoft exams and up to 50% off books and e-books from Microsoft Press.

For more information on the Network Management and Cyber-Security courses, call 01752 305026, or e-mail The full range of business support courses is also available on the College’s website

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