2021-Cyber security department scoops top awards

GCU’s cyber security department is on a winning streak

Fri, 15 Oct 2021 09:51:00 BST
Dr Jackie Riley scoops top accolade at the Security Serious Unsung Heroes award
Dr Jackie Riley scoops top accolade at the Security Serious Unsung Heroes award

Glasgow Caledonian University's cyber security department staff, students and alumni are on a winning streak after scooping top awards for their inspirational work.

Dr Jackie Riley, Head of Department for Cyber Security and Networks at Glasgow Caledonian University, has just clinched a top accolade at the Security Serious Unsung Heroes Awards 2021.

She won an award for Best Educator:  a professor, lecturer or teacher who leads by example to inspire and motivate the next generation of cyber security professionals at the ceremony in London.

Dr Riley, from the School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment (SCEBE), said: "I am immensely proud of all that the department has achieved over the past five years and it is great to get the recognition for that.

"The threat posed by cyber criminals is not diminishing but our staff, current students and alumni are pulling together to battle on to strengthen the defences and critically, to continue the supply of graduates to fill the cyber skills gap."

She was joined at the awards by SCEBE alumni and 2014 graduate Andy Gill, who received the Best Cyber Writer Award for his books, blog and cyber podcast and plans to return to GCU to give a masterclass.

Dr Riley added: "I was thrilled to be joined by Andy and his award was very well deserved – he is a true evangelist of the subject.  I am also pleased to say that Andy will be back in the department giving a masterclass to current students in December."

Two more department alumni, Matt Ridley and Stephanie Hill, who set up their own business, Ascent Cyber, supported by U-Hatch at the end of their degree, and are currently lecturing in the department, have been nominated for the Scottish Cyber Award of Best Customer Experience.

And the third big department success goes to the department's Red Hat student ambassadors, led by Dr Kenny Ovens, who have been awarded Red Hat Academy of the Year.

The Red Hat Academy bridges the gap between education and industry, and turns academic institutions into centres for enterprise-ready talent by providing training and certification.

Dr Riley said: "Throughout our programmes, engaging with vendors to ensure our students have hands-on experience of industry standard tools and platforms is a key factor, and our student Red Hat ambassadors, led by Dr Kenny Ovens, have impressed so much that GCU has been recognised as the Red Hat Academy of the Year, a great accolade to be included in the CVs of the student ambassadors."