How Higher Education Leaders are Reshaping Cybersecurity Education
Threats related to cybersecurity are on the rise among colleges and universities. These schools are a prime target for hackers because of the sheer volume of sensitive data housed within their systems. Gaining access to the computer system of a top university also grants hackers admission to the social security numbers and full financial information of the students in attendance. As a result of this major breach in security, higher education leaders are taking steps to reshape cybersecurity education at their schools.
Cybersecurity starts at the top.
First and foremost, the shift in cybersecurity must come straight from the top in order to be effective throughout the entire university. More than fifty percent of schools now have a CIO (Chief Information Officer) who sits on the president’s cabinet. The goal is to create unity and brainstorm potential solutions to remedy this growing problem.
It starts by reducing the amount of tech jargon associated with these hacks. Professors and teachers do not have the background to understand things in obscure terms. There’s a growing push to stop using technical language to describe potential issues and instead focus on the potential risks associated with cybersecurity breaches.
We need to recruit more students at younger ages.
The number of students who decide to move forward with careers in cybersecurity is slowly dwindling. Some schools are starting to offer programs that allow high school students to join in the fun associated with cybersecurity. One of the most successful programs, New York University’s Capture the Flag, is one of these massive pushes to garner interest in a much-needed field. With more successful recruitment attempts like this one, universities might be able to completely reshape cybersecurity at their university.
Schools are offering more diverse programs.
Instead of offering the same cybersecurity programs they always have, universities are beginning to offer a wider range of classes. Wilbur Wright College is leading the way with cybersecurity education. Currently, they are beginning to offer cybersecurity training that models the six-month boot camp at Fort McNair. Students will also have the opportunity to take the Certified Professional Certification Test, earning them even more credentials before they graduate.
Other schools are offering unique routes that pair different fields together. When students have a greater awareness of how cybersecurity intersects with other fields, they might have a better understanding of how to prioritize safety for the future. These programs better equip students and give them a more specific focus that can pique their interest in cybersecurity.
Changing the face of cybersecurity is going to take time in today’s modern age. However, it is essential that universities find a way to recruit students with an interest in this field and develop the programs to retain students. It starts with a top-down approach that gives leadership better insight into why these programs are so important to society as a whole. It will take time, but it is possible to reshape the face of cybersecurity over the coming years.