Cybercrime is predicted to cost the world $10.5 trillion every year by 2025, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Meanwhile, we face a national shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals.
At CYBER.ORG, we’re a part of the solution by expanding access to K-12 cybersecurity education and empowering teachers to train the next-generation cybersecurity workforce. During this October’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month as designated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), our team traveled nationwide to improve K-12 cybersecurity literacy and improve access to learning opportunities in the classroom.
We provided free courses and resources for teachers to help K-12 students prepare for the Cyber Preparedness Test (CPT) and become cyber heroes. Students received training in up to 14 aspects of cybersecurity, including Linux, encryption, multifactor authentication, and cyber safety. Through this programming, students also explored different cybersecurity careers through our career profile cards, from Cyber Forensics Expert to Information Assurance Analyst to Threat & Warning Analyst.
We presented at 13 cybersecurity events across the country, including conferences, courses, expos, and workshops. We also kicked off Project REACH, CYBER.ORG’s feeder program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Minority Serving Institutes (MSIs), and Hispanic Serving Institutes (HSIs) funded by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Cybersecurity Education and Training Assistance Program (CETAP) grant. We participated in Project REACH events at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri, and Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina, to name a few.
We partnered with CS is Elementary, an organization that provides K-5 children and families with computer science education, to encourage discussions around cyber safety through our Family Cyber Safety Nights series. Throughout October, we partnered to share key insights on cybersecurity alongside Governor Jay Inslee of Washington, Governor Spencer J. Cox of Utah, Governor John Bel Edwards of Louisiana, and Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey to address cyber safety in their states and local communities.
It was a busy Cybersecurity Awareness Month for our team and although October has ended, we’ll remain laser-focused on continuing our work to improve diversity and inclusion in cybersecurity education and ensuring that every student can see themselves in cybersecurity.
We look forward to continuing our partnerships with both the federal government and our private sector collaborators to empower every K-12 student with foundational and technical cybersecurity knowledge and skills.
For a complete list of this year’s activities and resources, click here.