NEBRC to Develop Student Talent

Updated: Apr 16


NEBRC partnership with universities to develop student talent

Curious and frank ethical hackers from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria Universities



The North East Business Resilience Centre (NEBRC) works with a team of innovative, curious and frank ethical hackers from Sheffield Hallam and Northumbria Universities, offering ‘on the job’ experience and extensive training from a range of professionals.

The students involved are a pool of talented, informative and reliable individuals who can help businesses of all sizes through the NEBRC’s Curious Frank services: a specialist cyber services division offering a range of practical, cyber resilience services at affordable costs.

Cybercrime related issues are on the rise, as well documented in recent times, with many businesses unable to protect themselves from hackers and attacks.

Here we speak to a selection of ‘Ethical Hackers’ involved in the programme to gain their insight and reflection on the world in which they are operating.

Mackenzie Bruso

Mackenzie is an international undergraduate student who is currently undertaking an BSC (Honours) degree in Cyber Security with Forensics at Sheffield Hallam University.

She got involved with NEBRC earlier this year after her course tutor made her aware of the ‘Ethical Hacking’ programme being facilitated and the Cyber Security Consultants roles available.

Mackenzie was an ideal candidate having previous experience of studying AP Computer Science in her final year at college and undertook a Semester at George Mason University where she learned some fundamentals of computing and programming techniques such as python, C++ and HTML.

Her passion and her drive to be involved in the industry so early into her academic career is thoroughly welcomed by the team.

She is now undergoing a specialised training programme and when this is complete, she will join the experts who run Curious Frank, a subdivision of NEBRC which aims to support business resilience in the cyber realm, ensuring that businesses are protect and aware of risks.

Mackenzie comments: “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at the NEBRC, this will enable me to enhance the skills I’m learning at University by working with the experts and a wide talent pool of other students from both Sheffield Hallam University and Northumbria.

“This is the start of my career and I hope that this experience will help me progress into a role with the police and someday achieve my goal in working for the UK Government in its counter terrorism department.”

Joe Cockcroft

Joe has a background in web development and graphic design after completing his BTECs at Doncaster college.

After completing the course, Joe discovered his appetite for the security side of computing and began studying the BSc (Hons) Computer Networks and Cyber Security at Northumbria University.

Now in his second year at University, Joe has joined the NEBRC as a Cyber Security consultant and his role will be to work with businesses in the North East to provide insights into how real-life malicious hackers may be a potential threat.

Commenting on his role, Joe said: “This role will allow me the opportunity to have a real positive impact in the local business community and within NEBRC.

“Cyber security is something which is constantly changing and adapting, and this gives me a chance to work with leading industry professionals to offer the best possible advice.

“Over the past few weeks, we have seen how businesses have fallen to cybercrime since more employees have started working from home and this shows how important the NEBRC are and the work they are doing.

“I hope that this experience will help me leave university with not only a top-class degree, but with the proven skills needed to take up a fulltime position in the cyber security realm.”

Joseph Tranter

During his time at college, Joseph dedicated his studies towards Computer Science with specialisms in Routing and Switching, which secured his place on the BSC Honours Degree in Cyber Security at Sheffield Hallam University.

Throughout his degree, Joseph will develop skills and knowledge around web and mobile security and their governance, study a diverse range of computing topics and become accredited through the British Computer Society.


He joined the NEBRC earlier this year and hopes that this will complement his studies, helping him achieve this best possible grade and bring out the rational thinking needed for a future career in cyber security.


He said: “I think it is fundamentally important that everyone educates themselves in the sphere of cyber security as our daily lives are becoming more dominated by technology and devices, particularly in response to the current situation we are all in.

“I’m excited to join the team at NEBRC as I would like to specialise in the types of consultancy they offer once I complete my degree.


“I hope the skills I learn from the team will help me land a place on a cyber security graduate scheme when my studies are complete.”

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The Business Resilience Centre for the North East (NEBRC) is a non-profit organisation which exists to support and help protect North East England businesses from cyber crimes.

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