Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today joined U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu at the Cyber Innovation Center to meet with teachers and students in the cybersecurity field—underscoring the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) continued commitment to strengthening cybersecurity efforts and preparing the next generation to work and practice safe online habits in an increasingly connected world.
“Cyberspace is an important part of our daily lives—from how we work and communicate to how we protect national and homeland security,” said Secretary Napolitano. “We are pleased to partner with the Cyber Innovation Center to enhance cyber education and prepare future generations as well as our current workforce in an ever-changing cyber world.”
In July 2011, DHS awarded $300,000 in grant funding to the Cyber Innovation Center to support their cyber camp and other educational programs—focusing on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across all education levels, the cyber camps seek to build a sustainable knowledge-based workforce that can support the future needs of government, industry, and academia.
“Threats to our homeland continue to change, especially in the emerging area of cyber security. Louisiana has stepped up to meet the 21st Century challenges that threaten our national security and economic stability,” Sen. Landrieu said. “The $300,000 grant DHS has awarded to the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City will help build a well trained workforce to develop cutting edge technology that we need to counter this threat.”
Over the past two years, DHS has increased the size of its cybersecurity workforce by 500 percent and works with academic institutions to encourage graduates to pursue careers in this emerging field through competitive scholarships, fellowships, and internship programs. The Department also partners with other agencies to carry out the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education, which seeks to develop successful training and development programs for the nation’s cyber workforce.
The Department is committed to ensuring a safe, secure and resilient cyberspace through initiatives such as the Stop.Think.Connect. campaign—a national public awareness effort to guide the nation to a higher level of Internet safety and security by educating and empowering the American public to be more vigilant about practicing safe and secure online habits.