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Conference Proceeding

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A recent study by Cybersecurity Ventures (Morgan 2018), predicts that 3.5 million cybersecurity jobs around the world will be unfilled by 2021. In the United States, the demand for professionals with cybersecurity expertise is outpacing all other occupations (NIST 2018). These reports, along with many others, underpin the need for increasing workforce development initiatives founded in cybersecurity principles. The workforce shortage is across all cybersecurity domains, yet problems continue to persist, as the lines between combatants and non-combatants are blurred. Combating this persistent threat, which is a 24/7 operation, requires a more aggressive and inclusive approach. Higher education institutions are positioned to fully support cybersecurity workforce development; cybersecurity needs people with different perspectives, approaches, ways of thinking, and methods to solve current and emerging cyber challenges. This need is especially pressing when assessing the digital landscape — a tireless and ever-expanding connectivity supported by societal needs, and economic development yet compromised by the common criminal to nation-state sponsored felonious activity. Educators need to consider augmenting their approaches to educating students to include cybersecurity content. In this technology forward world, one that is expanding more rapidly than society and policy can react, increases the imperative for fundamental cyber defence skills. Accordingly, all students, no matter the major, should, minimally, understand the implications of good versus bad cyber hygiene. STEM graduates will require awareness of cyber issues that impact the security of programs, systems, codes or algorithms that they design. Operationally focused cyber-security graduates require a curriculum for careers dedicated to protecting and defending cyber systems in domain specific environments. In a world of Internet of Things (IoT), the ability for individual disciplines to understand the impact of cyber events in environments outside of traditional cybersecurity networks is critically important. This will provide the next generation defenders with domain specific cybersecurity knowledge that is applicable to specific operating environments.

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This document was originally published in Proceedings of the 19th European Conference on Cyber Warfare and Security, ECCWS 2020 by IEEE. Copyright restrictions may apply.