A 2011 Norton study calculated the cost of global cybercrime at $114 billion annually. An additional $274 billion was lost based on the value victims surveyed placed on time lost as a result of cybercrime. With 431 million adult victims globally in the past year, and at an annual price of $388 billion globally based on financial losses and time lost, cybercrime costs the world significantly more than the global black market in marijuana, cocaine, and heroin combined.
In order to ensure a secure cyberspace, we must develop a technologically-skilled workforce, a cyber-savvy public, and an effective pipeline of future employees. Billions of dollars are being spent on new technologies to help secure the U.S. in cyberspace. It will take a national strategy, similar to the effort to upgrade science and mathematics education in the 1950's, to meet this challenge.
How can we do that?
The National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is led by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and comprised of over 20 federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). NICE expands upon the 2009 Cyberspace Policy Review and the 2008 Executive Order for the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative (CNCI), and is a nationally-coordinated effort focused on cybersecurity awareness, education, training, and professional development. CNCI is directed to develop an organized and unified response to future cyber incidents; strengthen public/private partnerships to find technology solutions; invest in the cutting-edge research to meet the digital challenges of our time; and begin a campaign to promote cybersecurity awareness and digital literacy to build the future cybersecurity workforce.
The mission of NICE 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. This initiative will enable a safer cyberspace for all. NICE extends the scope of its work beyond the federal workplace to include private industry, and students in kindergarten through post-graduate school.
To lay a foundation for implementing this effort, NICE developed a four-pronged approach:
- Cybersecurity Awareness
- Formal Cybersecurity Education
- Cybersecurity Workforce Structure
- Training and Workforce Development