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Autism and the Cyber Security Sector


This week is World Autism Awareness Week! World Autism Awareness Week and Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd) is an internationally recognised week organised by the National Autistic Society which aims to raise awareness of Autism. Autism is a lifelong disability which affects how people communicate and interact with the world. There are approximately 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK – that means for every 100 people, 1 of them is autistic.


1 in 100 people are autistic, with only 16% of autistic people in a full-time job.

As part of Autism Awareness Week, Curious Frank is raising awareness by highlighting how the world of Cyber Security can be a helpful pathway to employment and experience for people on the Autistic Spectrum. In 2016, Cyber Security Challenge UK highlighted that there is a natural correlation between Autism Spectrum Disorders and the gravitation towards Information Technology. IT is very logical, syntax guided and structured. Individuals with autism are often extremely talented and persistent problem solvers. Technology is process driven and for the most part ‘back and white.’ For those trying to navigate the human terrain, which is often illogical and instructed. Therefore, jobs within the IT sector, including the Security sector, provide a straightforward way of understanding and participating in society.


Despite the link between autism, the cyber world and the knowledge that many autistic people have a specific gift for cyber security, people on the Autistic Spectrum are significantly underrepresented. 84% of diagnosed autistic adults are not in full time employment, a figure that has not improved for over 10 years. One way in which this figure can be improved is to introduce more diverse thinkers into your organisation, including those on the autistic spectrum. In March 2019, Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills attended the Neurocyber UK event at Oracle. The event was set up in order to raise awareness towards the critical shortfall of young people entering the cyber security industry, and specifically designed to enable autistic young people and adults access education and employment opportunities. As part of the event, Jamie Hepburn noted that:


Do you wish to get involved with World Autism Awareness Week or are you keen to find out more about autism and cyber security? Here are some useful links, resources and contacts:


World Autism Awareness Week

Get Involved


Support Groups

The Cyber Neurodiversity Group

Scottish Autism

Autism Network Scotland

National Autistic Society: Looking for Work

National Autistic Society: Enterprise Ventures

National Autistic Society: Support for Employers


Useful Links

How employing Autistic people can help stop cyber-attacks | Forbes

How Autism could help bridge the cybersecurity skills gap | Sector

Is autism an asset to UK Cyber Security? | NewStatesman

Cyber Security Challenge UK partners with Scottish Government and YoungScot to address growing need for diverse thinkers in cyber security | Scottish Government

Autism, Cybercrime and Securty’s Skill Struggle | Dark Reading

Identifying links between autism and fighting cyber crime | Cyber Security Challenge UK


Resources

Autism and the Technical Security Industry | Crest

Neurodiversity at Work Guide | CIPD

Autism and careers in cyber security: A short guide for employers | IAAC, Cyber Security Challenge UK

Pathways into Cyber Crime | National Crime Agency


- Curious Frank

Are you curious about cyber security? We'll be frank about it! From security consultations, cyber security training, digital foot-printing, extensive security tests and more, Curious Frank the best range of services to help individuals and organisations be more cyber secure. Find out more.

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