Discover your hidden talent for cyber security with over 200 free challenges

Join the community of over 70k 13-18 year olds training to become the next leaders in cyber security by playing a vast online training game.

Registration for this programme is now closed.

Join Cyber Discovery, HM Government’s free online extracurricular programme

You might not have considered a career in cyber security before, but you definitely should. Not only is it one of the most well-paid, in-demand sectors around, but it also offers young people the chance to forge a career doing something that matters.

Cyber Discovery is the most effective and fun way to master technical skills and security concepts, as a gateway to the industry or just to up your digital skills! As you embark on your journey, you will become an agent for the virtual Cyber Protection Agency, where you will stop criminal gangs who are using their cyber skills to do damage online. You will have a go at real-world cyber attacks, learning how cyber security experts play a vital role in protecting our hospitals, banks, army, and police services!

Whether you’re a beginner with a casual interest or a keen programmer, Cyber Discovery is for everyone. Many don’t think they have what it takes and are astonished at their results when they put their team-work, problem solving and determination to the test.

You can take part in the programme at home or in a school club – all you need is a computer and an internet connection to get started. Are you ready to join the community and see if you can take the fight to the cyber criminals?

The overall programme was eye-opening for me. I explored in-depth how easily cyber criminals can gain access to your data and the techniques they use, and I learned valuable skills that go way beyond GCSE and A-Level.

Previous Cyber Discovery student

Learn more about Cyber Discovery

Your Cyber Discovery journey

Throughout your Cyber Discovery journey, you will tackle hundreds of hours’ worth of challenges, tasks and games across three stages. As you progress through the programme, the challenges get harder, but don’t worry, we provide all the learning material and resources you need to progress at your own pace during each stage.

Stage one of your journey involves working through a set of highly interactive challenges, each harder than the last. The quicker you complete the challenges in CyberStart Assess, the faster you unlock the next stage of the programme.

Currently closed.

Once through from CyberStart Assess you'll be invited to play CyberStart Game! CyberStart Game involves a suite of over 200 online challenges to explore across 4 exciting bases (including a Volcano base!) and focuses on self-learning.

Open until 30th June 2021

Students who have completed at least one challenge in level six of HQ base in CyberStart Game will be invited to CyberStart Essentials. You'll get to grips with the basics of advanced security topics and concepts.

Open 18th December 2020 – 30th June 2021

I would definitely recommend others get involved in the programme as it has opened doors for me which I never thought it would. The skills taught are invaluable, especially to those wishing to enter this amazing industry.

Emily Best

Registration for this programme is now closed.

Take a closer look

Assess logo

Do you have what it takes to become the next cyber security superstar? You owe it to yourself to find out! Put your skills, passion and persistence to the test with our fun challenges in CyberStart Assess

Ready to outsmart power-mad cyborgs and show the ‘bots who’s boss? Battle through a series of online challenges and start defending the digital world with your problem solving skills!

Crack the codes, find the flags and deal with real-life cyber dilemmas as you boost practical and theoretical knowledge and build an impressive set of cyber credentials.

Game logo

Join a virtual cyber protection agency in CyberStart Game! Step up, crack codes, find security flaws and dissect criminal’s digital trails in the number one platform to develop cyber potential

I absolutely loved taking part! I got pretty hooked on the rush of investigation and problem solving.

Previous Cyber Discovery student

Sign up to play CyberStart Game and you’ll learn code breaking, ethical hacking and digital forensics. From binary to programming, you’ll develop skills by playing fun challenges designed and built by an expert team of security professionals.

With over 200+ immersive challenges through 4 themed bases and a range of awesome scenes to keep you entertained, it’s an addictive way to become a cyber pro!

Over 30,000 students are already loving this stage. Don’t play catch up – take advantage of the awesome opportunity to play CyberStart Game now and take your cyber training to the next level.

Essentials logo

Aspiring for cyber greatness? You’ve come to the right stage. Featuring hundreds of hours of rich content, CyberStart Essentials will transform you from a successful agent into one ready for industry!

Go further with deeper learning and discover more advanced security topics such as pen testing and networking. Then train your brain to think like an expert with interactive labs, videos and quizzes.

Covering a broad range of advanced security topics such as exploitation and pen testing tools, CyberStart Essentials stretches your scope on the industry’s awesome opportunities and preps you to secure the role of your cyber dreams!

You’ll learn at your own pace through videos, interactive labs and quizzes.

I was genuinely disappointed when Essentials closed, because it meant I lost access to an amazing resource that went well beyond what I had learnt in both GCSE and A-Level classes.

Previous Cyber Discovery student

Registration for this programme is now closed.

Be part of an exciting community

Students from around the country are engaging with the Cyber Discovery programme. Join them and be part of the conversation.
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"In my opinion, the highlight of the programme would definitely be CyberStart Game. Every challenge was interesting and unique, and the difficulty curve was just right to help you develop your skills." - Emily Shackleton, Student


"CyberStart Game is like nothing I've ever seen before. It was an absolute god-send for someone new to the industry, and for it to be free was the icing on the cake" - Daniel Milnes, Student

Registration for this programme is now closed.

SANS Institute

Cyber Discovery is delivered by SANS Institute for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. SANS is the global leader in cyber security training and certification.


For any press enquires please contact SANS on
0203 384 3470 or DCMS press office on 020 7211 2210

Bugs and security

We've worked hard to deliver secure code, but on a platform that also lets you learn more about security flaws.

Unfortunately when it comes to security there is no state of 100% secure and bugs or defects may occur. Part of being a security professional is finding bugs and helping people fix them, following a strong code of ethics.

If you find a suspected bug or security flaw please contact with the subject "Defect" and let us know as much as you can about what you've found.

CEOP Safety Centre

CEOP helps any child or young person under the age of 18 who is being pressured, forced or tricked into taking part in sexual activity of any kind. This can be something that has taken place either online or in 'the real world', or both. Visit the CEOP Safety Centre by clicking the button below.