Two ex-paratroopers are on a mission to transform the cyber security industry. Their mission is to develop military grade talent from the UK Armed Forces.

Steve Maguire and Richard Housley are joint founders of Forces Cyber Pathways, a company that provides free training for veterans who qualify for enhanced learning credits. Steve and Rich both served in 2 Para before moving into Law Enforcement and Risk and Crisis management respectively. Their mission is simple, they aim to provide meaningful employment to veterans and to tackle the cyber security skills shortage that currently exists. “With over 1.5 million vacancies expected over the next 2 years, more talent needs to be developed and brought into the industry, we believe that military veterans are a perfect fit to meet this challenge”, says Steve.

It is without doubt that our Armed Forces are pivotal in the defence of our shores and territories against physical attack, but, there now exists a new vector that threatens to invade and potentially cause as much devastation as conventional warfare; namely, cyber-attack.

Technological innovation is changing at a blistering pace; however, whilst the rate of technology dependence is allowing organisations to become more efficient, the exposure of sensitive data on internet facing channels, is providing rich pickings for online criminals. There has therefore never been a greater need for the services of cyber security specialists.

The cyber security industry is booming. This can be put down to the increase in the number of high-profile attacks and the introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an EU directive that places fines of up to 4% of global turnover on organisations in breach.

For companies, the prevalence of cyber related crime, has prompted a marked increase in risk awareness, causing them to take measures to defend themselves against cyber-attack. Not dissimilar to an Ops Room, Security Operations Centres (or SOC’s for short), are the first line of defence against cyber-attack. Their function is to identify, contain and eradicate threats against a company’s network.

FCP, and its training partner Siker Cyber, which is also a military veteran led company, has developed a 4-week training course, branded the Analyst Pathway. The Analyst Pathway is designed to prepare candidates, leaving or have left the forces for a successful career in cyber security.

Key to this mission, is to secure SOC Analyst roles for service leavers. The team has secured a number of roles with industry-leading organisations, exclusively for veterans, throughout 2019 and beyond.  Rich is clear of where the company is heading: “There are so many similarities between physical and cyber security, which makes this the perfect industry for service leavers.” “17 years ago, Steve and I were serving together in Afghanistan; our service now, is for veterans that desire a career in cyber security.”

FCP is hosting an Insight Day at the University of Buckingham on the 15th February, to give military candidates a flavour of the course and what a career in cyber security looks like.  Maj Gen Chip Chapman, former CO of 2 Para, will provide a keynote speech on the cyber threat landscape. Entry is free and registrations for attendance are available here.

FCP is now accepting applications for the four-week Analyst Pathway course, commencing on Monday 1st April 2019 at the beautiful University of Buckingham. This course will prepare candidates to pass the industry leading CREST Practitioner Security Analyst Exam.  The course is free for veterans that are within the qualifying period for Enhanced Learning Credits.  A number of Cyber-Security jobs are available at the conclusion of the course. We encourage candidates who are undertaking, or have obtained IT qualifications to apply.