Teaching CyberSecurity in Higher Academia

Teaching Cyber Security in Higher Academia has always been a subject that’s struck a chord with both academia and industry. There is always this balance that both sides seek to achieve.

On one hand, there are risks when teaching such a subject, including, having the proverbial “Dog biting the hand that feeds it.” Reading this thread on Reddit made my stomach churn as I see students try to advance their careers, knowledge and understanding of cyber security.

I won’t go down this rabbit hole too much on pointing the negatives out, but I would like to point out the obvious: The students are meeting in an unofficial capacity.

Whether it is sanctioned or unsanctioned by Higher Academia, the students have formed a community to share and learn. The very fact these students want to take it to the next level with the blessing of the administration indicates the willingness by students to do this the right way and ensure this community stays out of trouble.

It is also a wonderful opportunity for the administration to teach and help students learn the right ethics, morals, and understanding the consequences of ‘going to the dark side’. These students will be this academic institution’s first line of cyber defense in future years as they may notice suspicious and unusual behavior of computers they use on campus. They may even join the ranks as staff members of a higher academia institution, including the one they currently attend.

This is a relationship I encourage any student and higher academia to grow, nurture and cultivate. The benefits will always outweigh the concerns, and I ask that higher academia to avoid simply saying no and let that be the end of the conversation and dialogue.

Rather, identify the concerns (and yes they are legitimate concerns) and find ways to teach and educate these young minds that “With great power comes great responsibility.

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