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Computing student ranked among top 100 on global cybersecurity platform

Deborah Reid
Deborah Reid, BSc (Hons) Computer Science student, is the first of RGU’s students to break into the top 100 on ImmersiveLabs. She writes about what inspired her to get started and keep going.

I started completing challenges on the ImmersiveLabs platform at the beginning of 2020, at the start of Semester Two. ImmersiveLabs is a world leading cyber security skills gamification platform used by our School of Computing to complement teaching and encourage students to keep learning new skills all the time. Currently, it hosts about 25000 users from 972 higher education institutions and RGU is currently 18th in terms of points.

I was introduced to the platform by my lecturer for the Web Security module, Hatem Ahriz, and I enjoyed the labs and challenges so much that I completed over 150 labs in the first three weeks! After a long break, I got back on the platform this year and completed the last few labs, finally reaching the top 100 globally on the platform.


I was first motivated to participate on the platform due to how enjoyable it was to complete the labs and I liked having the chance to learn new skills. I was further motivated when I realised my lecturer, Hatem, was also on the leader board, which tracks points earned from lab completions on the platform. I set myself the goal of completing enough labs to top the leader board, which then resulted in a bit of competition between me and Hatem to be ahead of each other and reach the number one spot.

I managed to stay focused on reaching the top 100 by completing more labs this year, as it was a good distraction from other projects and worries. I also found the short labs helped me focus my mind before working on my other modules for my degree.


I love working with computers because I like problem solving and writing code to build cool projects. I have always been interested in cybersecurity, thanks to movies and books, although it's very different in real life! But it wasn't until I went on placement, when I had the opportunity to work within cybersecurity at two different companies, that I began to consider a career in this field. Working with the experts taught me so much and I found that I really enjoyed poking holes to find security issues, and then finding ways to plug the gaps.


My aspiration for the future is to have a successful career in cybersecurity, achieve further qualifications, and find my field of expertise. I would also like to inspire more girls to consider studying and working in cybersecurity. My ultimate dream would be to deliver a TED Talk one day, but I've got more learning to do before that happens.




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