Teaching Those We Love About the Importance of Cybersecurity

Teaching Those We Love About the Importance of Cybersecurity

It’s about halfway through National Cybersecurity Awareness Month and most of us in the cybersecurity industry have likely flipped through a dozen cybersecurity awareness campaigns, and as a result, are prepared to Stop.Think.Connect. Some of you may have even dedicated an extra minute to review the new Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency message of Own It. Secure It. Protect It.

Those of us in the industry are able to quickly digest these campaigns. We receive 20-50+ weekly communications on DevSecOps, cloud security, compliance and risk management. This is our language. Sadly, we tend to forget about our friends and family who are not immersed in the vernacular of online security. 

As a cybersecurity professional and Girl Scout leader, I was excited to kick off the NSCAM with a Girl Scout troop meeting focused on cybersecurity fundamentals. Thanks to the support of Telos, I was able to host 18 young ladies, ages 7-10, as they began their journey to online safety and cybersecurity.

I will spare you the details of our fun night—which was complete with a custom patch for learning cybersecurity fundamentals and a signed pledge to follow online safety guidelines. Instead, I will leave you with a couple observations and links to resources I found helpful and engaging for this age group.

One of the most exciting observations from the evening was that these girls love technology; they love robots, math, building and design. This initial interest and enthusiasm should be fostered by us all before stereotypes start influencing their choices. Expose them to more and more technology, but do so with cybersecurity education in addition to the technical parameters you employ to monitor or block activities.