There’s no escaping it. As time goes on our personal and professional lives will be even more dependent on the skills of cybersecurity experts to avoid everything from computer viruses to identity theft. Girl Scouts and Palo Alto Networks recognize that we all must work together to prepare for these technical challenges by creating the innovative cybersecurity problem solvers of tomorrow, through education today. According to the Computing Technology Industry Association, 69 percent of U.S. women who do not have a career in information technology cited not knowing what opportunities were available to them as reasons they did not pursue one.
To encourage girls to become the experts who can meet future cybersecurity challenges, GSUSA and Palo Alto Networks are teaming up to deliver the first-ever national cybersecurity badges for girls in grades K–12. In September 2018, eighteen badges will introduce cybersecurity education to millions of girls across the United States through compelling programming designed to increase their interest and instill in them a valuable 21st century skillset. This national effort is a huge step toward eliminating traditional barriers to industry access, such as gender and geography, and will target girls as young as five years old, ensuring that even the youngest girls have a foundation primed for future life and career success.