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As the nation confronts a shortage of over 714,000 cybersecurity workers, industry leaders are looking for ways to close the gap in the future. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and CYBER.ORG are helping expand access to K-12 cybersecurity education across the country and diversify the cybersecurity workforce pipeline.
The best part? They provide this curriculum and hands-on professional development to teachers at no cost. This article will discuss this effort and how incorporating cybersecurity into classrooms will educate the future workforce and help create a holistic approach to cybersecurity.
CYBER.ORG is a nonprofit aiming to increase the number of people with careers in cybersecurity by providing cyber career awareness and curricular resources to students in grades K-12, as well as teacher professional development. Funded by CISA grants, CYBER.ORG creates and distributes free cybersecurity education materials to teachers across the United States. More than 25,000 educators from all 50 states and three territories are currently using the CYBER.ORG curriculum platform.
Improving our national security position and reducing the complex threats posed by cybercriminals requires a robust cybersecurity workforce. Unfortunately, the United States has a shortage of cybersecurity specialists. With ever-evolving technology and a growing reliance among malicious attackers, cyber threats in our professional and personal lives are prevalent now and in the coming years.
This is where CYBER.ORG comes in; they are bringing cybersecurity education into the classroom. CYBER.ORG’s goal is to provide access to cybersecurity education for all students in grades K-12, regardless of socioeconomic status or prior education.
Private life and business are getting more intertwined. People regularly mix personal and professional data. Traditional security borders are leaky. Every work device, personal piece of equipment, or technology can be an attack vector. Now, cybersecurity involves more than just technology; it involves people too.
Cybersecurity in the modern day calls for a holistic approach that includes people, skills, technology, procedures, and governance. But how can we scale cyber resilience while also facing a shortage of cybersecurity professionals? By introducing students to cybersecurity now, they have the opportunity to gain familiarity and understanding of how to protect themselves and businesses from cyber threats.
Learning this new culture before entering the workforce will benefit them and build a talent pipeline for cybersecurity specialists. However, even if students don’t seek careers in cybersecurity, learning best practices and how to spot threats can help with creating a holistic approach to cybersecurity across various industries.
Cybersecurity education such as that provided by CYBER.ORG is the best way to prepare students for the realities and the challenges they can expect to face in the cybersecurity industry. Implementing this curriculum will help create a workforce that is equipped to protect organizations and consumers from cyber threats with a holistic approach to cybersecurity.
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