Girl Scouts are Getting Cybersecurity Badges

Image via Girl Scouts

Image via Girl Scouts

The Girl Scouts are partnering with Palo Alto Networks security to help train the next generation of cybersecurity experts. Starting in September of 2018, the Scouts will offer the first in the series of 18 badges around cybersecurity and digital protection.

The first badges will be available for girls ages 5-6 and will teach the basics of firewalls and identity protection. Programs for older Scouts will roll out in 2019, and will teach complex programming and ethical hacking skills.

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of the Girl Scouts, said of the badges:

“At Girl Scouts of the USA, we recognize that in our increasingly tech-driven world, future generations must possess the skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the cyber realm. From arming our older girls with the tools to address this reality to helping younger girls protect their identities via internet safety, the launch of our national cybersecurity badge initiative represents our advocacy of cyber preparedness.”

One of the reasons behind these badges was a report that indicated the world would have a deficit of qualified cybersecurity professionals by 2021, and Girl Scouts wanted to help keep jobs and interest up.

With cyberattacks like WannaCry and last week’s Petya starting to become more and more common, having several knowledgeable young people ready to shrink that deficit would definitely help.

The self-described duty of the Scouts is to “contribute to the improvement of society through their abilities, leadership skills, and cooperation with others.” It’s nice to see them using that mandate to get young women into tech from an early age.

(Story via TechRepublic)

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