Cybersecurity is a team sport, and that’s a problem when the team is under-staffed. As our digitally connected world grows, with more participants and many more added devices, the need grows for more smart folks to help keep data safe at home and at work, on smartphones, tablets, computers and other IoT devices.
Government, business and industry players are all doing their part to address the issue now and in the future. But you can help, too.
Now that you’re aware, make them aware
It’s the age old question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We can’t all be travel bloggers, astronauts and chocolate testers. The future of cybersecurity depends on the ability of parents, teachers and mentors to mold the next generation of cyber experts. They can help young people understand the importance of cybersecurity and get them to consider it as a possible career choice. Open doors by showing students that careers in cybersecurity are exciting options for critical thinkers.
Push for cybersecurity curriculum to reach students earlier
Change the Equation reported in 2015 that 56% of 12th graders* had no access to computer science classes. To support cybersecurity needs in the future, more students should have access to foundational classes that can also educate them about cybersecurity. That should include teaching students to better understand how to use technology responsibly, to help prevent them from crossing into illegal or unethical areas. Even if these lessons don’t lead them to cybersecurity careers, what they learn will still help them make better choices online.
Check out programs available aimed specifically at cybersecurity
There are many free and low-cost programs available. For example, AT&T helped sponsor the Air Force Association’s (AFA) CyberPatriot National Youth Cyber Education Program which included “CyberCamps” to teach teens basic cybersecurity skills. Programs like these can go a long way to help young people develop cybersecurity skills and get them interested in cybersecurity for the future.