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#NICEK12: Creating a Paradigm Shift in Cyber

At the 2018 NICE K12 Cybersecurity Education Conference in San Antonio, Texas, industry leaders spoke about promoting cyber awareness by educating kids so that they can in turn educate their parents and move the needle on protecting privacy in our interconnected world. 

In his presentation, “The Thief Is One Hundred Years Ahead of the Locksmith,” Ronald Malden, chief learning officer, Regal Business Opportunities Inc., offered a strategic plan for the national initiative of accelerating cybersecurity learning and skills development in a diverse user community.

Because criminals are able to remain one step ahead of whatever lock defenders invent, education is far more useful than inventing new defenses. 

“In this day and age, we have to educate the children if we are ever to achieve cyber awareness across a diverse workforce environment. In today’s current cyber environment, when I focus on general education, I’m actually focused on what we need to accomplish in K-12 in order to educate the entire society,” Malden said.  

So how do we become more cyber aware? According to Malden, approaching cyber in general education from a K-12 perspective includes both technical and nontechnical content because computing communication is occurring when you wake up and does not stop when you sleep. “We need to educate cyber knowledge across the life spectrum as well as teach it in small doses in diverse general education, which includes teaching cyber in physics, law and philosophy.”

To be successful in that endeavor, it’s important to target the audience messenger, or the trusted person, providing educators with an approach that tells them how to educate the population in general.

“Students should be graduating cyber certified so that they understand penetration detection, intrusion detection and what it means to be cyber aware so they are not the victim,” Malden said. “A cyber-hacker is looking for money. If you are no longer the low-hanging fruit, then you have less of a loss.”

The industry needs to develop a paradigm shift that delivers us from defensive to offensive education. To achieve that, Malden said we must address the education of all individuals and increase involvement in cyber education by integrating cyber domain concepts as organization ethos or curriculum in K-12 education.

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