If you ask kids right now what they want to be when they grow up, you probably won’t hear “hacker.” But hackers are absolutely essential to protecting cyberspace from computer criminals. We need to teach kids how to hack.
Hackers are computer security experts who want to make systems more secure. Hacking requires curiosity, computer security skills, and a special mindset for figuring out what criminals will do before they actually do it. Make no mistake: there are those who exploit cyberspace to their own ends. But those are not hackers. They are criminals.
There is a critical national shortage of hackers, and it’s because we’re failing to attract students early on to the field. More than four in five organizations lack sufficient computer security skills within their organization to protect themselves, according to a recent study by Intel. That means four in five organizations that want to secure their computers simply cannot find the talent to do so.