Girl Scouts of the USA Capitol Hill event

Girls Scouts Prepare Girls to be Next Gen Cyber Experts

Capitol Hill Event Held in Honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month

(Nov. 2, 2017) In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) and Palo Alto Networks held an event on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 in the Kennedy Caucus Room of the Russell Senate Office Building.

The event featured honored speakers Representative Earl “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) to discuss the importance of cybersecurity education and opportunities for girls to learn these vital skills that are needed for the next generation of scientists and programmers. There was a panel discussion with GSUSA CEO Sylvia Acevedo and Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark McLaughlin, and moderator Lauren Prox, an industrial engineering student at Clemson University and Gold Award Girl Scout alumna. The discussion centered around ways in which government and industry can make cybersecurity a more appealing career option for women to help address the cyber workforce gap. Currently, the U.S. is experiencing a cybersecurity labor shortfall which must be addressed in order to enhance its cybersecurity workforce ecosystem.

As part of the event, the girls participated in a hands-on activity led by Palo Alto Networks cybersecurity experts aimed to teach them foundational cybersecurity skills and motivate them to pursue a career within this field to help solve our Nation’s toughest security challenges. Participants of the activity created a traceroute map – a tool used by cybersecurity professionals to investigate the details of alleged cybercrimes. The map identifies the path that packets of data take to get from a source computer to a destination.

GSUSA’s collaboration with Palo Alto Networks will deliver the first-ever national Girl Scout Cybersecurity badges for girls in grades K–12. Led by a team of cybersecurity advisers, they expect to roll out the first in a series of 18 badges in Georgia and across the rest of the country in September 2018. This initiative aims to eliminate gender barriers while ensuring that girls even as young as five years old have a foundation primed for future life and career success.

The new cybersecurity badges will deepen the existing commitment that Girl Scouts has made to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by using the organization’s unique, "fun with purpose" K–12 curriculum that inspires girls to embrace and celebrate scientific discovery in their lives at all ages. Together, GSUSA and Palo Alto Networks will provide cybersecurity education to more than a million U.S. girls, ensuring that every girl has opportunities to explore and build potential career paths in STEM fields.

Information in this post was excerpted from the following Palo Alto Networks blog post:

Information in the post was excerpted from the following Fifth Domain video: