The solution to the ransomware problem begins in our schools

In a country where computer technology was born and reproduced, where technological innovations have created unparalleled economic growth and opportunities, where high-tech tools live in hip pockets, why are we losing the battle of ransomware? Why doesn’t the United States have an upper hand and what can we do to get it back?

Ransomware, accordingly NBC News“There is an epidemic of cybercrime where hackers lock victims’ computers remotely and demand ransom to fix them.” This is not like other types of ransom, where criminals demand payment in exchange for valuables taken — only, in this case, valuables are usually files that contain personally identifiable information, employee records, financial records and other digital content. Companies, colleges and other institutions that cannot run.

Prices of ransomware are rising, expected to exceed that More than $ 20 billion Worldwide next year. This includes not only ransom, but also network downtime and repairs, lost productivity and loss of reputation. Schools, hospitals, corporations, the federal government: all sectors of our economy have been affected by ransomware attacks. This seems to have happened almost daily.

The recent high-profile ransomware incident disrupted U.S. oil and gasoline supplies and helped explain the scale of the problem and the general public.

In May of this year, the computer system of Colonial Pipeline, a company operating a 5,500-mile pipeline stretching from Texas to New York, was breached during a ransomware attack. The company was effectively held hostage in an attack that disrupted East Coast’s petroleum supply for more than two weeks, causing delays and shortages for daily American customers and commuters.

Colonial quickly paid about $ 4.5 million to unlock its computer system, secure the encryption key, restart the pipeline, and reduce the anxiety, frustration, and long lines caused by the interruption. Weeks later, The federal government was able to recover half of the ransom paid by the colonies, but this is not a proportional result.

Cybersecurity and ransomware have been on the front page lately. Bilateral on 8 October Cyber ​​Security Act President Biden signed the law. Less than a week later, the White House Called The Virtual Counter-Ransomware Initiative Meeting brings together leaders from more than 30 countries to build international cooperation.

Pipeline problems

One reason for the colonial onslaught is that our nation does not have enough qualified workers to fill the available high-tech positions, including positions such as network security professionals, system analysts, and software developers.

Accordingly Microsoft, There are currently more than 450,000 open spaces in the United States that require cybersecurity skills. This is “6 percent of all open jobs in the country”. People who take on these roles can help eliminate the vulnerabilities that cause organizations and organizations to fall victim to ransomware attacks in the first place, but if those roles are vacant, they clearly can’t do anything good.

This is where my job comes in – and where the K-12 education system can help, provide a stronger on-ramp to college computer science programs and help provide the country with much-needed staff in this area.

K-12 is the key to preparation Integration.

As a technology integration expert, my role in my Vermont school district is to support teachers as they develop more fluency in educational technology, taking advantage of these tools to improve student outcomes.

Clearly, this is a busy year. But it is also a year of possibilities and opportunities. The technical skills of students and teachers have improved dramatically – they have to do it. So, how can we build on this and raise attention to the ransomware issue? Let’s give young people a chance to be a part of satisfaction and live a beautiful life while doing so.

Teaching technical skills

In a rare show of bipartisanship, the U.S. Senate announced the passage US Innovation and Competition Act of 2021 In the summer, he is sending it to the hall for sign-off. The bill includes $ 250 million to address recurring ransomware threats and other issues, some of which will enter schools across the country. The word “school” or “school” appears 156 times in hundreds of pages of this bill. The law covers grants, awards, competitions and many STEM-related activities. I am optimistic about that.

My real hope is that this fund will not be an add-on. I hope we weave technology skills into the curriculum. We engage students in coding exercises. We capitalize Hour of code The program draws us behind the scenes on technology, letting students understand the coding that drives these devices. We introduce students to computer programs like WeVideo or Padlet. It doesn’t have to have new curricula and more teachers.

The Tech Center Attached to my high school, Windsor County, Vt. Serving in five public school districts in, it is doing a great job in preparing students for the technological world. It has been a boon for students who know these ways. But for those who are depressed or uncertain, making their way through the traditional high school curriculum program, whatever the subject area, they return to weaving more technical skills into the daily work of teaching.

Many curricula, classes and assignments, on each level पासून from high school statistics, to high school sports, to going to a class outside of the second grade असू can and should be a digital component. The tools are already in your hands.

I’m not using technology for the benefit of technology, but technology that can enhance these daily lessons. Teachers can simultaneously create an environment rich in technology while preserving the beauty and simplicity of traditional education. This is important for the future of our country.

Learning to handle original photos of leaves and insects with programs like Photoshop or Pick Monkey and learn to create them in short presentations is an example of ways to generate interest in technology children. Empowers students to create original texts in Book Creator. Data visualization projects using Adobe Spark or Lucidpress means that students are actively making sense, not passively receiving instructions. In such a situation, technology can enter through the side door, while the content — learning itself राह remains in the front and center.

Students who are curious and interested today can help avoid tomorrow’s colonial pipeline-level (or worse) disaster. But for that to happen, we need to use our current educational technology and weave these tools into the many lessons that students face in their classrooms, increasing students ’interest in computer science.

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