PGC Talk from white-hat hacker Katy Winterbourn

On Monday 30th January, we were delighted to have Katy Winterbourn come and give an interesting talk about IT Security.

She started off by telling us about her job as a white-hat hacker (legal hacker) and how her problem solving skills set her up perfectly for jobs at places such as GCHQ. Legal hacking means that permission must be given by the client before the hacking actually begins. This is the most important concept that she told us, as it is what makes her different from a black-hat hacker. She also advised us that, while you can take a computing degree, this is not always the best option for a career in legal hacking. Taking a degree in physics or maths can be just as helpful and gives you the freedom to change your mind about your career. 

She was impressed with our own Ethical Hacking Club and was happy that more girls are becoming interested in the idea of legally hacking. She recommended a book called The Art of Deception which talks more about social engineering than hacking. This is another way her company gains access to information.

She also recommended a website called OSCP that could help the girls learn about hacking generally and help prepare them for a future career involving hacking. This talk really helped to show the girls that a career in computing has a range of benefits and can give you confidence. As Mark Zuckerberg has said, “People can be really smart or have skills that are directly applicable, but if they don’t really believe in it, then they are not going to really work hard.” As we all know, computing is increasingly important in today’s era of technological advancement.

Mrs Mooney, Careers and Work Experience Manager