We use cookies on this website to improve your experience. Please refer to our Privacy Policy for more information.
18th July 2022

Meet the Cerco team at forthcoming Military events and job fairs

Filed under:

We’re thrilled to announce a few forthcoming events that our Cerco ‘roadshow’ team will be attending.

If you are interested in transitioning into a career in IT, then this is the perfect opportunity for you to discuss your aspirations with our team.

photo of armed forces regulars

Stoke on Trent – 18th August 2022

Come and meet us at the Ex-Services Armed Forces Hub that taks place at Port Vale FC on Thursday 18th August.

Leeds – 22nd September 2022

Come and join us at the Northern Employment Fair in Leeds on the 22nd September. For more information visit the CTP website.

Southampton – 6th October 2022

We will be exhibiting at the South Coast Employment Fair on the 6th October. Come and say hello between 10am and 2pm. For more information visit the CTP website.

Newark – 10th November 2022

On the 10th November we will be in Newark at the East Midlands Employment fair. Once again this is the perfect opportunity to discuss a career in IT from Field Service Engineers to Network Support to Cyber Security. For more information visit the CTP website.

If you are unable to attend any of the events listed then please take a look at how we support HM Forces service leavers. We’re always on hand to answer any queries and advise on how our training programmes will assist in your transition into a career in IT.

If you have a reasonably technical background and a particular interest in Cyber Security, it could be that you are able to jump straight into our Cyber training. Please take a look at our Cyber training programme, Cradle to Cyber.

For any further queries you can always reach out to us. We’re here to help.

12th July 2022

Press Release: Cerco IT receives the Armed Forces Gold Covenant Award

Filed under:


Cerco IT receives the Armed Forces Gold Covenant Award

Recognition of Cerco IT’s continued commitment to the Armed Forces

Tuesday, 12th July, 2022 – Today, Cerco IT Ltd, a company with over 30 years of IT training experience, announced the awarding of the Armed Forces Gold Covenant. 

On the award, Cerco IT’s Managing Director, Chris Barlow, said, “We’ve always enjoyed a high percentage of military veterans coming through our training courses who then go on to enjoy a successful career as IT technicians, engineers and, more recently, cyber security professionals. To be honoured with this award by the MoD is credit to our hard-working staff, each veteran’s desire to cross train into IT and the support and dedication of our employment partners.“

To achieve this prestigious award, Cerco has worked tirelessly in forming strong relationships with a number of Armed Forces charities, including, Walking With the Wounded, The White Ensign Group and The Poppy Factory.

Cerco continues to support military veterans, reservists, cadet volunteers, service leavers and their families by providing free IT training and cyber security courses followed by a clear pathway into an alternative career.

In May 2022 Cerco opened its new training rooms in Canada Street, Manchester, the home of Walking With the Wounded. Later this year there are plans to open another training room onboard HMS Belfast, London, the home of The White Ensign Group.

About Cerco IT Ltd.

Founded in 1989 as Granada IT Services in Manchester, Cerco IT provides practical training courses for candidates looking to start a career in IT.

In 2003 Cerco added a recruitment division to enable the support and placement of trainees into fully paid work.

Cerco continues to offer free training to suitable candidates.

For more information please visit cercoit.co.uk or call 01270 219760.

You can also connect with Cerco via LinkedIn and Facebook.

8th July 2022

Cerco’s Cradle to Cyber programme yields its first graduates

Filed under:

Building on top of 30+ years of experience in IT training and placing entry level server engineers and technicians, Cerco IT, in 2021, developed a programme to address the alarming shortfall in the UK’s Cyber Security talent pool.

According to the UK Government there is an estimated short fall of 10,000 Cyber Security
professionals per year in the UK recruitment pool

The phantom menace

Photo credit: Richard Patterson

Perhaps when we think of ‘hackers’ we conjure an image of a socially awkward teenager in a dark room, dressed in a hoodie and surrounded by glowing monitors. To a certain degree this may be accurate but the problem is much worse than this somewhat simplistic, almost romantic vignette may suggest.

The greater threat comes from state sponsored activity that operates on such a large scale it is almost unfathomable.

Web sites present the most obvious vulnerability

Once upon a time it was important just to have a website. If you had the budget you’d hire a specialist web design agency. If you didn’t, or, worse still, you considered it a mere gimick to keep up with, you may have handed responsibility to your nephew in his bedroom. As eminently capable as either of these developers was they couldn’t have foreseen the threat that lay ahead which in turn didn’t accurately inform them of the correct technical decisions to make.

Regardless of the underlying technology, many websites have developed and evolved over the last 20 – 25 years to the point where they require teams of people to maintain. Server technology evolves as do network capabilities and encryption methods. But sat beneath many websites is a code base that hasn’t been overhauled in years. To a hacker with determination these websites are little more than playgrounds.

Sensitive data may be residing within insecure databases whose front door is left wide open by poor coding. User input via a web form may be injected straight into a database query with little or no sanitisation. This was quite common 20 years ago but in 2022 it is unforgivable.

A perfectly viable question to ask is, how well do you know your website and its underlying technology?

But a far more damaging question would be, how well does a hacker with nefarious intent know your website and underlying technology?

Communication breakdown

If you were so inclined you could construct a diagram that illustrates exactly how information is handled on your network. This may be a network local to your business premises (LAN) or a wider network that links numerous premises (WAN). Ideally of course you would already have this diagram and would review it periodically for improvement and maintenance purposes.

This visualisation is precisely what a hacker is attempting to achieve. Where are your weaknesses? Where might there be a hub that requires configuration? e.g. a firewall.

Requests that are routed through your network may not have always come from a legitimate source. With the correct tools and a keen eye you can respond to such threats. But far better is to identify the weak links in your network configuration before anyone from the outside has had chance to exploit them.

To a hacker bent on maximum disruption a vulnerable network is as good as the door to the bank vault blowing freely in the wind.

A solution

Unsurprisingly the attack methods that we have touched upon have numerous names. Collectively we refer to this scenario as the attack or threat surface. Essentially, where can I gain access to your system and wreak havoc.

Each of these nefarious attack methods is a form of penetration and the discipline of identifying vulnerabilities is known as penetration testing.

Penetration testers are a huge part of the 10,000 per year shortfall in the cyber security talent pool.

At Cerco IT we take candidates from all walks of life with a background in IT and passion for security and train them to be penetration testers.

Many of our trainees have worked with us before as Field Service Engineers. Many have come to us from employers looking to strengthen their security teams. And many have come to us from a position within the UK Armed Forces. In fact our relationship with numerous Armed Forces charities and our recognition as a Silver Covenant Award winner for our commitment to those leaving service is something were are immensly proud of.

Via our training partner, Merimetso, themselves former GCHQ employees, we train our candidates to the CyberScheme standard. Specifically, the CyberScheme Team Member standard.

Our fully trained and passionate penetration testers already posses numerous skills and accreditations. Here are just a few:

  • EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker certification
  • All legal aspects of Ethical Hacking
  • Kali
  • The pentester’s toolbox: NMAP, Metasploit, NetCat, SQLMap etc
  • The OSI Model, TCP/IP and UDP, wireless networking
  • CompTIA Network +, Pentest +, Security +
  • Military Threat Intelligence
  • Microsoft MTA: Security Fundamentals
  • Windows Server Administration Fundamentals
  • Azure Data Fundamentals
  • Python, C, C++, PHP, JavaScript
  • Prince2 Practitioner
  • Relational Database Administration (Oracle, Microsoft)
  • Cerco Certificate in Systems & Networking (CCSN)
  • Windows, Mac OS and Linux operating systems

Next steps

If you are looking to strengthen your Cyber Security team and are interested in hiring hungry and freshly trained talent with today’s crucially relevant skills, please do contact us.

We’d be more than happy to schedule a call with you either via a traditional landline or through MS Teams.

You can read more about our Cradle to Cyber programme within our brochure.

We hope to speak with you soon and help you protect your business from the phantom menace.