About the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education
The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is a nationally-coordinated effort comprised of over 20 Federal departments and agencies, academia, and industry. The mission of this initiative is to enhance the overall cybersecurity posture of the United States by accelerating the availability of educational and training resources designed to improve the cyber behavior, skills, and knowledge of every segment of the population, enabling a safer cyberspace for all. The NICE initiative extends beyond the Federal workplace to include private industry, those changing careers, and students in kindergarten through post-graduate school.
NICE was established in support of the 2009 Cyberspace Policy review and expands upon the cyber education Initiative of the 2008 Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI). CNCI Initiative 8: Expand Cyber Education - Interim Way Forward acknowledges, "in order to effectively ensure our continued technical advantage and future cybersecurity, we must develop a technologically-skilled and cyber-savvy workforce and an effective pipeline of future employees" to meet the cybersecurity challenge.
To lay a foundation for implementing this effort, NICE developed a four-pronged approach:
- Component 1: National Cybersecurity Awareness: NICE Component 1, led by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), aims to raise awareness about and access to cybersecurity issues and resources, improve citizens' knowledge to allow them to make smart choices as they manage cyberspace risk; and, improve knowledge of cybersecurity within organizations so that resources are well applied to meet the most obvious and serious threats.
- Component 2: Component Formal Cybersecurity Education: Component 2 is led by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Education (DoED) is the Formal Cybersecurity Education component of the NICE Initiative. It aims to strengthen the academic pipeline leading to cybersecurity careers.
- Component 3: Cybersecurity Workforce Structure: NICE Component 3 is led by DHS and aims to increase the quality and quantity of the cybersecurity workforce by determining the merits of professionalizing; delivering a recommended method to help organizations better forecast their cybersecurity workforce needs; and developing a strategy to recruit and retain a cybersecurity workforce for the Nation.
- Component 4: Cybersecurity Training & Professional Development: NICE Component 4, co-led by DHS, the Department of Defense (DoD), and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), seeks to develop and maintain an unrivaled and globally competitive national cybersecurity workforce through the establishment of standards and strategies for cybersecurity training and professional development.
These four components work seamlessly together to help ensure a safer cyberspace. The information about NICE is regularly updated to include the most up-to-date resources and best practices. The items below outline some things you can do to protect yourself and become more cyber aware.