College students in the Highlands will benefit from online cyber training.

A new venture will see a Scottish college begin to offer cyber security training courses for its students.

North Highland College has teamed up with Cyber Security Scotland to provide online learning schemes, which it said will fulfil a market need in cyber-related skills development, product creation and awareness training.

It is also hoped the skills gleaned from the courses will help to protect Scotland from cyber attacks in the long run, the John O'Groat Journal reports.

Caithness, Sutherland and Ross MSP Gail Ross said the news is particularly welcome at a time when the Scottish government is trying to encourage a digital economy in rural Scotland.

"This initiative will provide our young people with the tools they need to have meaningful careers in the digital security sector," she added.

Last year, a survey by cyber security skills programme Cyber First found 40.4 per cent of female students and 35.5 per cent of male students hadn't even considered a career in cyber security prior to their participation in training.