What is Cybersecurity Education?

  • Published: Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020

When doing a search of Internet resources, I find lots of references to what cybersecurity is but not directly to what defines cybersecurity education. Sure, one could easily correlate the two because once an understanding of cybersecurity is recognized it will naturally lend itself to establishing the education component.

In its most basic sense, cybersecurity is the practice of defending digital hardware and data. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines cybersecurity as the art of protecting networks, devices and data from unauthorized access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity and availability of information.

We can evaluate the individual categories of cybersecurity such as network, application, information security as well as disaster recovery and incident response. But let’s not ignore the vital category of end-user education.

There are many defenses that can be implemented to protect resources such as a firewall, access rules, anti-virus and updates, but the human factor always has a role in cybersecurity.

Cyber.org defines cybersecurity education 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.  CYBER.ORG's three pillars: foundational cybersecurity awareness, cyber career awareness and technical cybersecurity skills

If end-users learn the basic fundamentals of how digital devices interact, ethical practices and responsibilities, they will be better prepared to protect themselves and your institution from threats and attacks. Empowering the user through cybersecurity education will arm them with the knowledge, skills and confidence necessary for the tasks.

When does cybersecurity education begin? Fundamentals should be incorporated into lessons in the school as early as possible. Teaching kids how technology interacts, how to be good digital citizens and how to protect digital assets can prepare them for the future. Whether in the work environment or seeking a career, education in cybersecurity creates a good foundation. Various careers in cybersecurity are currently open and, with the expanding landscape, is an area in need of cyber professionals.  

Resources:

Guide to Cybersecurity Jobs

Cybersecurity Jobs: Overview