Our technological innovations change the way we live our lives, for better or for worse. As such, our educational needs must also change with the times.
Right now, our economy and infrastructure are increasingly moving online. That has created a need for increased cybersecurity education across the board. The COVID-19 pandemic has sent students and workers to online platforms, merely amplifying that need.
Educators are tasked with preparing our children and young adults to lead the way for the future. For those of us concerned about the state of cybersecurity at present, a fundamental question remains top of mind: Are schools preparing students to care for the privacy and security of critical, sensitive information?
Cybersecurity Education Survey Shows There’s More Work to Do
The EdWeek Research Center recently conducted a survey of 918 K-12 educators from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. These educators were asked about cybersecurity education, which “was defined as providing students with an understanding of how connected electronic devices interact in a digital age, how to protect digital assets from vulnerabilities, and the moral and ethical issues surrounding the uses of technology in our society.”
EdWeek’s goal? Better understand the state of cybersecurity education across the nation. Here are some of the takeaways:
- Most educators do not know a lot about cybersecurity education. While about 90% of public-sector educators claimed to know at least “a little,” only 10% indicated they have substantial knowledge on the topic. The same amount said they had no knowledge at all.
- Some rural and low-income areas are cybersecurity deserts. “Eighty percent of educators who report no cybersecurity resources live in rural areas as compared to 33 percent of those who say their communities offer cybersecurity resources,” the report states.
- Students are not knowledgeable on the topic of cybersecurity. Only 40% of educators felt their students knew at least some, if not a lot, about cybersecurity. Again, there was a correlation between levels of resources and level of student knowledge about cybersecurity.
- Students are interested in cybersecurity, but they are often lacking opportunities to learn more about it. “For example, 13 percent of educators say cybersecurity competitions are available to their high school students but just four percent report that elementary-aged children have that opportunity,” the report states.
The educational system’s lag in cybersecurity is a serious problem considering the dire need for proficiency at professional and regular levels alike.
The cybersecurity profession has long had a wide talent gap – not enough qualified candidates for the number of positions available.
But perhaps even more critical, however, is the role of the non-technical employee in cybersecurity protection. As the interface to an organization’s data, the everyday employee might the most critical point of protection in the cybersecurity chain. Until we provide these individuals with adequate cyber skills, we still have a high need for worry.
Let Lunarline help you bridge this knowledge gap. We can provide the cybersecurity education and training that your workforce needs to protect your organization from hackers and other cyber criminals.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today.