Girl Scouts Invade The World Of Cybersecurity

Cyber security—we’ve heard a lot about it, but what is it?  What is Malware, what’s a firewall, what’s a breach???

These are all terms associated with cybersecurity—which is essentially a set of techniques, processes and practices that protect data stored on computers and our phones from attack or unauthorized access.  A cyberattack is when an unauthorized user hacks into a data system.  The result can negatively impact bank accounts, credit card accounts and a host of other private data.

Why has cyber security become so important?                                                                        Cyber attacks have been on the rise in recent years.  In fact, cyber attacks targeting businesses have doubled since 2017, and there is already a global shortage of 2 million cyber security professionals. Some of the largest and most advanced companies in the world have been victims to cyber-attacks in the last 5 years. Highly personal and sensitive information such as social security numbers were recently stolen in the Equifax hack, affecting over 145 million people.

Girl Scouts and Raytheon have partnered to introduce girls to the world of cyber security via a Cyber Challenge activity on October 19th, 2019.  On that day, 250 Girl Scouts from central Maryland and 250 girls at nine other councils across the U.S., will engage in activities designed to pique their interest in fields related to cyber security.

Here’s the Cyber Challenge Scenario:  There’s been a cyber attack on the systems of a moon colony in the year 2050, and Girl Scouts need to help resolve the problem in order to save everyone! Girl Scouts will be part of an incident response team that must find out who hacked the systems and how to stop them.  At designated problem-solving stations girls will learn about Digital Asset Management, Phishing, Breach Analysis, Decryption and, Encryption.

For an insider view of the Cyber Challenge check out our Facebook live feeds on Saturday, October 19th. And, here are some cyber security definitions that will help you stay in the know:

Breach

The moment a hacker successfully exploits a vulnerability in a computer or device, and gains access to its files and network.

 Firewall

A defensive technology designed to keep the bad guys out. Firewalls can be hardware or software-based.

Malware “the bad guy”

An umbrella term that describes all forms of malicious software designed to wreak havoc on a computer. Common forms include: viruses, trojans, worms and ransomware.

Virus

A type of malware aimed to corrupt, erase or modify information on a computer before spreading to others.

Trojan horse

A piece of malware that often allows a hacker to gain remote access to a computer through a “back door”.

Phishing or Spear Phishing

A technique used by hackers to obtain sensitive information. For example, using hand-crafted email messages designed to trick people into divulging personal or confidential data such as passwords and bank account information.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as cyber security terms, but this will get you started. You can also work on the new Girl Scout STEM badges to learn more.

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