‘Cybersecurity is no longer seen as the sole responsibility of professionals,’ said the Finnish authors of an EU cyber citizen report.
Researchers from Finland have published a report calling on EU member states to develop a unified, people-centric approach to cyber skills and cybersecurity.
The report is called Cyber Citizen Skills and Their Development in the European Union. It found that there is a significant degree of variation in terms of the quality of cybersecurity education and other related digital skills across the EU.
The academics are from Finland’s Aalto University. They carried out the research as part of an initiative called the Cyber Citizen Initiative which runs until 2024.
The initiative has received €5m in funding from the EU recovery instrument for a three-year period. Its main aim is to create what the report’s authors call a “cybersecurity civic skills learning model and a learning portal for all Europeans”.
The online learning portal will contain content targeted at different audiences, according to the report.
It will include a cybersecurity game that helps people learn about cybersecurity in a fun and practical way.
In their analysis of the various methods EU countries are using to develop citizens’ competence in cybersecurity, the academics found that a unified learning model would help the EU focus its efforts to ensure all citizens are somewhat confident about cybersecurity.
Education policy guidelines on cybersecurity in EU countries are relatively new, the report found.
“Cybersecurity is no longer seen as the sole responsibility of professionals,” its authors said. “Instead, it is an integral part of all social activity. Cyberspace has become more diverse and versatile – something that is now better understood in the European Union.
“The current situation highlights more than ever the importance of continuous learning and the extensiveness of required skills and knowledge. Cyber citizen skills are to be understood as dynamic skills that change with the context and environment, and in addition to vigilance, the need for lifelong learning cannot be stressed enough.”
The report’s authors recommend that everyone should have basic cybersecurity skills and that it is the EU’s responsibility to develop a culture of competence.
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