Since January 2016, there have been more than 410 cyber incidents targeting K–12 schools in the United States, according to EdTech Strategies.
Over a quarter (29 percent) of children admit to having used the Internet in a way that their parents would not approve. Forty percent of students admitted friending strangers online.
Blockchain as a Solution?
Potentially, more companies are exploring blockchain applications in order to increase security levels among social media platforms, protect students’ information, reduce risks of ransomware exposure. The idea would be to use cutting edge technology to increase the speed of identifying patterns, create decentralized environment, and encrypt data. Such patterns of communication that commonly used by scammers and criminals would be identifiable, data breaches would be greatly reduced, and ransomware attacks would not be as effective.
A Different Kind of Education
Today, students are learning how to deal with sophisticated cyber threats by becoming hackers themselves — the good kind, according to EdTech Magazine. Many middle and high school students throughout the U.S. are taking ethical hacking courses. They share the goals of setting themselves on the path to becoming cybersecurity experts. Colleges and universities are responding to the labor crunch with diverse programs focused on cybercrime, cybersecurity, and related coursework.
Recent data suggests there’s growing interest from students entering college. IT workers are thinking about cybersecurity as an upgrade to their current positions. There are more than 125 colleges and universities in the U.S. alone offering a master’s degree in cybersecurity. Dozens of those programs offer online-only classes and degrees, so even students who can’t attend in person can get a degree.
Maryland has the largest number of university-trained cyber engineering graduates in the world. Maryland is the number one cyber education state in the country, with 17 NSA/DHS Centers of Academic Excellence. In addition, Maryland-based universities have awarded 10,000 bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity-related programs since 2015.
With the introduction of 18 new cybersecurity badges in 2018, nearly two million Girls Scouts of all ages (K-12) will be able to explore opportunities in STEM while developing problem-solving and leadership skills, according to Girls Scouts of the USA (GSUSA).
More Employment Available For Graduates
There will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021 — enough to fill 50 NFL stadiums — according to Cybersecurity Ventures. This is up from Cisco’s previous estimation of 1 million cybersecurity openings in 2014. Likewise, the cybersecurity unemployment rate is at zero percent in 2019, where it’s been since 2011.
U.S. News and World Report stated that the information security profession is growing at a rate of 36.5 percent through 2022. That bodes well for newbies, much the same as more experienced cyber fighters. The population of cyber engineers and analysts throughout the Washington D.C. Beltway is 3.5 times as big as the rest of the U.S. combined.
With more than 150,000 cyber-related engineering and data science professionals, Maryland has the number one cyber workforce in the world, and leads the U.S. in cyber employment for classified nation-state jobs. Above all, Maryland also has the largest concentration of university-trained cyber engineering graduates in the world. However, San Antonio is home to the nation’s second-largest concentration of cybersecurity experts.
The U.S. has a total employed cybersecurity workforce consisting of nearly 715,000 people. Therefore as a nation we lead the world in trained professionals. In addition, there are currently almost 314,000 unfilled positions, according to Cyber Seek, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce.