The Dangers of Cybersecurity Ignorance

The Context

Young students at high schools, colleges, and universities are internet savvy, passionate about digitalization, and very particular about their online presence. The post-pandemic age has had a big impact on the lives and lifestyles of students. They got entangled with several advanced technologies while attending online classes during the pandemic, and the trend is continuing even in the ‘back-to-classes’ era.

Against this backdrop, there is one question that keeps popping up. Are we doing enough to prepare enough cyber security professionals for the future? From time to time, we have emphasized the importance of having a larger pool of cyber security experts to narrow down the gap in cyber security professionals’ demand and supply mismatch.

But are we giving the youngsters ample time and the right opportunities to take cyber security as a career seriously from a very young age?

Let’s dig a bit deeper into the significance of training young people in the importance of cyber security.

Catch them Young

The grasping power of anything new is always stronger at a young age. The more we grow, the more we lose the desire to learn something new.

In our previous articles, we emphasized the huge gap between demand and supply. We discussed how organizations suffer due to a lack of skilled IT security professionals. 

While delving further deep into the reasons behind the fact, isn’t it right to say that we are somehow responsible for not bringing up adequate cybersecurity professionals as per the industry demand? If we can teach young school-going kids about the importance of cyber security, why should we wait till the professional age to train individuals through some diploma or certificate course? If we do that, there are clearly two benefits:

  • Young minds will develop an interest in the field of cyber security, which would give them a very promising career opportunity (organizations can also meet the demand for a larger workforce).
  • They can learn from a very young age about cybersecurity practices that could help them be conscious enough to protect their digital identities everywhere.

Unfortunately, there are hardly 10-15% of schools in Asia and the rest of the world that offer cybersecurity as a subject at the secondary level. Unless we ‘catch them young’ to train them about the importance of cyber security, the challenge of finding skilled IT security professionals might never end.

Are they too Young?

The answer is NO.

Typically, we think that school-going kids are too young to understand the aspects of cybersecurity. However, it’s a myth! If schools can introduce subjects like financial planning, financial marketing, or artificial intelligence at the secondary level, then why not cyber security? In fact, the omnipresence of the internet is luring young minds towards advanced IT knowledge.

So, depriving them of cyber security knowledge is like indirectly creating a demand and supply mismatch for the future. 

The Internet has gradually turned out to be very resourceful for students for their regular and higher studies. However, how many of them consider internet security as the prima facie for a secured virtual existence?

Cyber Security Awareness is also Important for Protecting our own Digital Footprint 

Today’s younger generation has a very large digital footprint. Typically, youngsters hardly keep an eye on the data and digital identity security aspects while working or studying. There is a tendency (due to cyber security unawareness) to ignore best practices in securing digital identities from any sort of compromise and misuse. 

Adequate training and cyber security awareness courses from a very young age will not only make the younger generation more responsible in their approach to data and information security, but might also help generate interest in the subject matter. 

The Bottom-line:

To ensure adequate talent in the field of cyber security, it is important to train young people about cyber security at a very early age. 

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