Cybersecurity experts at Check Point Software explain that in an increasingly digitalised world, educating all users on cyber threats, no matter their age, is critical
On Technology Education Day, Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions globally, shares its top advice on cybersecurity skills for young people.
Technology Education Day assumes more significance than ever as so much course work and classroom teaching relies on digital platforms. No matter what field of study they choose, be it engineering or business, there is no way students can progress without embracing technology.
However, with this increase in tech across all sectors also comes increased risk of cyberattack. In Africa, organisations experienced an average of 1,896 cyberattacks per week over the last six months.
So, Check Point Software explains the cybersecurity skills that each student should have, depending on their age group:
- Cybersecurity in primary schools: Experts recommend 10 years of age as the ideal time to begin addressing cybersecurity in the classroom – as long as the different devices have security software and parental controls, and they are used under adult supervision. At this stage, the most useful knowledge that can be taught to pupils is about privacy, responsible use of the internet, basic security settings for devices and advice on cyberbullying.
- Secondary school knowledge: This age group needs to learn the most common cybersecurity threats and dangers on the internet, such as phishing and how to identify a suspicious email or text, account theft, malware, ransomware and their signs. Following this, it is also possible to introduce and deepen knowledge of basic concepts such as bugs, vulnerabilities, exploits, or human failure as well as sophisticated social engineering – what it is, how it works and how cybercriminals use it.
- Higher Education: Whether pursuing a university degree or a vocational training cycle, it is at this stage that a student focuses on the subject in which they want to specialise and develop for their professional life. Subjects such as computer engineering, telecommunications, a degree specialising in cybersecurity or computer science are the ones that will expand the cybersecurity knowledge beyond what was learned at school. It should not be forgotten that the digital world, and likewise the threat landscape, is constantly evolving, and at a much faster rate than other disciplines, so training does not stop. After completing higher education, students can always continue to expand knowledge and skills with courses or master’s degrees.
“Cybersecurity education is becoming more and more important, as it will not only be useful for people working in the sector, but it will be crucial for everyone’s day-to-day life. Everything is becoming more digitalised and any action we take will carry dangers both in our work and in our private lives”, explains Pankaj Bhula, Regional Director for Africa at Check Point Software.
Adding: “Today’s children are technology natives, so let’s give them the tools to feel safe in a fast-changing environment where they spend most of their day”.