IAFIE Conference Calls for More Higher Education Cybersecurity Programs
By David E. Hubler
Contributor, In Homeland Security
Panelists at the International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) conference, held this week in Charles Town, West Virginia, agreed on Monday that there is a growing need for more collegiate cybersecurity programs and training.
“The growth of cybercrime is creating an entirely new industry,” said keynote speaker Garry W.G. Clement, former National Director for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Proceeds of Crime Program. “Cybercrimes will cost the United States about $108 billion by 2020,” Clement added.
According to Clement, higher education “is more important than ever before.” That figure rises to $200 billion if you include the 10 leading world economies.
New Curricula and Courses Needed to Address the Lack of Cybersecurity Skill Sets
Clement called for the development of new curricula and courses that can address the lack of skill sets among new law enforcement recruits. “We need people who can detect fraud because there are too many threats and too few professionals.”
Understanding fraud, such as Ponzi schemes, tax evasion, money laundering, cyber and accounting principles, are some of the skill sets Clement said should be part of new higher education programs.
Clement predicted a shortage of two million cybersecurity professionals by 2019, a figure that will continue to grow unless there is greater cooperation among law enforcement agencies and higher education. In terms of combatting financial crimes and money laundering programs, “We’ve missed the boat. We haven’t achieved a thing.”
The Nation’s Safety Requires Closure of the Digital Divide
Dr. Kevin Harris, Program Director of Information Systems Security at American Public University System (APUS), said the safety of the nation requires that we close the digital divide between affluent regions with advanced technology and less affluent areas where the latest technology is often not available or taught in school. He spoke on a cyber issues and threats panel.
He noted that it is important to teach students as early as middle or high school about technology as a career in order to put this career path on students’ radar. Harris said 80 percent of cybercrime could be addressed through better training. He called for greater collaboration among academics, corporations and government agencies.
Law enforcement agencies especially feel the need for more students trained in cybersecurity. Dr. Chuck Russo, Program Director of Criminal Justice Security and Global Studies at APUS, recalled that when he joined law enforcement, “there was no expectation of digital literacy.” Recruits needed only a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
Today, however, with law enforcement so dependent on technology, recruits must have at least a college degree. Russo acknowledged that it is difficult to keep current on new technology.
Nevertheless, “we don’t have enough people to train,” he said. Russo called for local agencies to partner with institutions of higher education to create programs especially designed for law enforcement.
The growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created “an intelligence nightmare,” Daniel Benjamin, Vice President and Dean of STEM at APUS, told the panel. In the world of IoT, 30 billion sensors will be connected by 2020.
Benjamin said IoT cybersecurity is the number one problem. Smartphones pose high security risks from data leakage and disclosure, discarded cell phones, phishing and other hacking attacks.