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Cybersecurity students learning on same software used by governments and military forces

York College University Centre Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) students are gaining a working knowledge of a system used by governments and military forces from across the globe thanks to a collaboration with an industry partner.

PocketSIEM – a division of – have donated a demo SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) tool that has been installed in our Foundation Degree’s virtual cybersecurity lab.

Students are, therefore, gaining practical experience of the high-level software that is also relied upon by commercial companies around the world and collects, analyses and reports on potential security incidents throughout an organisation’s entire computer network.

Eliza-May Austin, CEO and Co-Founder of, has explained how her company’s gesture was born from a desire to help nurture the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

She added that more candidates who are proficient in cybersecurity are needed to help fill IT, development and system administration vacancies.

Engineering and Digital Technologies tutor Richard Hind is also pleased that his students are gaining valuable workplace skills that will benefit them in future careers on the course that is supported by the Yorkshire & Humber Institute of Technology.

Richard Hind using PocketSIEM to teach students on our Foundation Degree Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) course

He said: “Working with industry partners has always been an important part of our Foundation Degree Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) course. We first made the connection with PocketSIEM in the spring of 2023 and they kindly agreed to provide us with a demo SIEM system for our virtual cybersecurity lab.

“One of the engineers visited College whilst in the local area and set up the Security Onion software, whilst another provided an online introductory briefing for the tutors. When the students were back at College, Eliza delivered an online presentation about the cybersecurity industry, her company and the Security Onion (SIEM) software.

“This has been a great experience for staff and students alike, giving all of us a valuable insight into the industry and working knowledge of a widely used, high-level security solution. This is where Foundation Degrees stand out, providing students with practical experience as well as the underpinning theory, those vital links with industry and the real-world perspective.

“It has also been fascinating to learn more about the business approach taken by Pocket SIEM, which allows SMEs (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises) to enjoy the benefits of advanced security monitoring software without the high cost normally associated with this kind of system. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Eliza and everyone at, and we look forward to seeing your organisation enjoy great success in the future.”

CEO and Co-Founder of Eliza added: “We have a strong commitment to supporting the cybersecurity community and nurturing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. This dedication is evident in our consistent contributions to community conferences and our previous involvement in universities and colleges through guest lectures.

“This particular tool is used by commercial companies, governments and militaries around the world, so students will gain hands-on experience in the practical aspects of cyber defence.

“Regardless of the specific SIEM tools employed by future employers, the skills acquired through Security Onion will remain applicable. We feel this emphasises the importance of practical knowledge and that students should not rely solely on theory.

“Having a foundational understanding of cybersecurity is essential, as it opens up opportunities for students to secure positions in various related industries, such as IT, development and system administration. Nowadays, companies are increasingly looking for technical professionals who also possess cybersecurity expertise.

“The cybersecurity field is facing a shortage of technical skills, and many individuals lack proficiency in this domain. This situation creates a significant opportunity for students to secure technical roles in the future, provided they have the requisite practical skills.”

There has never been a better time to pursue a career in the field with £2.5million in Government Local Skills Improvement Fund (LSIF) money having been secured to enhance employment prospects in the York and North Yorkshire region in the digital technologies and health and social care industries. Please click here to read more.

If you would like to learn more about our Digital Technologies (Cybersecurity) Foundation Degree, click here

For more information on Pocket SIEM, please click here