Should cyber security lessons be taught in schools?
Internet inevitably has become of paramount importance. We all feel the need for the internet in all walks of life. In the field of education, the internet is extremely important and is consistently growing as well.
Especially after the pandemic hit us, the usage of the internet became an exclusive part of our lives and in matters of education, it became a saviour. Life had changed entirely during the pandemic as well as post-pandemic. Children were solely reliant on the internet to learn from school also.
It is a matter of worry for parents as well, to try and keep track of children’s daily activities and check that they do not fall prey to any internet scams, etc.
Need for cyber-security:
That is where cyber security comes in. Cybersecurity is a matter of concern we are all well aware of this fact. Recently the news of cyber security being introduced in school for classes 9 and 10 was doing rounds. I found it rather exciting and it is something we should be addressing.
In our native education system, dependency on the internet is huge which makes it essential to have protection from data breaches, phishing and ransomware.
Hence, learning about cybersecurity becomes important, for children to be aware of internet dangers as well. If we talk about students in classes 9th and 10th, teenagers are most prone to being victims of cyber-attacks which can be harassing for them, and their academic growth as well.
Need for education on cyber security for School Students:
The need for cyber security for school students as we read in the former paragraphs is immense but looking at the technical side of it, cyber security is needed as it offers a defensive mechanism for all kinds of internet-enabled devices from cyber hackers.
The education sector isn’t safe from these cyber attacks as well. Data breaches and data manipulation are common here as well. Online malicious attackers do not spare, this sector as well. The degrees of cyber-attacks may be of varied kinds like Distributed Denial-of-service, IoT vulnerabilities, data manipulation and much more.
“By 2025, 45% of organizations worldwide will have experienced attacks on their software supply chains, a three-fold increase from 2021.” ((Gartner))
Cybersecurity renders a defensive mechanism for internet-enabled devices from cyber hackers. This security form is a necessity for any organisation that is run digitally. Globally there is a considerable need being experienced.
Reasons for vulnerabilities :
- Lack of awareness.
- Increased usage of the internet.
- Lack of technical knowledge.
- No proper guidance against cyber crimes.
Hence, it just becomes essential to have a generation of children who can work better on the internet without falling prey to cyber crimes as this data can be stolen and further utilised for the wrong purposes and used as a tool to extort money.
Educational institutions are at a greater risk of getting trapped in this hazard as children unknowingly can visit or select the links.
Reasons to include cyber security in school curriculum :
Cyber security domain carves the way for a demanding career:
Cybersecurity has transformed globally as an endless job option and is scaling to be significant with each passing day. The demand for cyber security experts is immense and is rising with each passing day. A lot of big tech giants like Dell, Cognizant, and Accenture are looking out for cybersecurity professionals. The need for professionals exists in the field of national crime agencies, and security departments.
The jobs that are available in the field of cyber security offer lucrative salaries. The bracket for remunerations is very wide. Not only regular jobs the need and work of a cyber security professional is vast as a freelancer as well, a person can cater to many jobs at the same time, as many startups and online businesses also need to safeguard themselves against any cyber threats. Hence, remunerations are one big attraction in this line of profession.
Personal growth and professional growth exist parallely:
The development of an individual on the professional front is deeply rooted in their growth in their personal space. As they acquire a new skill every now and then that not only helps them on the professional front but along with that their individual skill set also gets upgraded. This makes a person upgrade his/her skill set and be more productive.
The reasons of cyber security for school students are numerous to have cyber security as a subject so as to promote the vocationalisation of education, in fields that have many opportunities for employment. It has been found in research, that cyber security is a field where the chances of growth are high and the gap between supply and demand is also very high.
The recipe for Cyber security in school curriculum:
Deciding the standard: It has been found, that the basic understanding, of cyber security, can be instilled in a child in 9th standard and beyond. It goes without saying that not all students are willing to take up the conventional streams like sciences or finance, but this can seem like a strong attraction to someone interested in IT.
Prerequisite: While formulating the curriculum, it should be kept in mind that the child is new to the concept. Both kinds of students should be able to take up the subject, whether from a technical background or not.
Educators: The teachers should be experts with hands-on experience. The teachers should be able to bring working experience to the table as well.
Cybersecurity courses should be introduced in the school curriculum, for all the above-stated reasons. This will help us innovate a generation of learners who are self-sufficient in generating a livelihood for themselves.