Cybersecurity Education: Planning for the Future Through Workforce Development

As the number of malicious activities in cyberspace continues to rise, the need for a workforce trained in cybersecurity is a necessity. The indispensable skills for such a workforce include the ability to optimally design and operate applications and systems with the capacity to identify and respond to cyber threats, as well as to design effective public policies to counter those threats. The future challenges of the cybersecurity workforce can only be addressed by encouraging careers in cybersecurity. The disparity between the supply of skilled cybersecurity professionals and the demand for them requires immediate action to train current practitioners while crafting policies to educate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. Without policies to enhance the workforce’s cybersecurity skills, a country will not fully reap the benefits of the digital economy. This paper outlines steps to build a Cybersecurity Education Action Plan (CEAP) that includes mechanisms to integrate cybersecurity education into policy development and school curricula to address the shortage of cybersecurity skills in Latin America and the Caribbean. It also offers a toolkit of initiatives and mechanisms at the national level to generate interest in cybersecurity careers.