VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (June 13, 2017)– Palo Alto Networks® (NYSE: PANW), the next-generation security company, and Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA) today announced that they will join forces to deliver the first-ever national Girl Scout Cybersecurity badges for girls in grades K–12. Girl Scout badges are insignia Girl Scouts earn and display on their uniforms to demonstrate their mastery of a given topic. Led by a panel of expert cybersecurity advisers, GSUSA and Palo Alto Networks expect to roll out the first in a series of 18 Cybersecurity badges to Girl Scouts throughout the United States in September 2018.
According to the latest Cybersecurity Jobs Report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the worldwide deficit of qualified cybersecurity professionals will reach 3.5 million by 2021. A deficit of this magnitude can inhibit the industry’s ability to prevent cyber breaches, and the challenge is compounded by the growing frequency and sophistication of cyber-attacks. Getting ahead of tomorrow’s threats requires a larger, diverse and innovative team of problem solvers.
Yet, a study by (ISC)², Global Information Security Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity, shows that women remain vastly underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry, holding just 11 percent of jobs globally. Plus, according to research by the Computing Technology Industry Association, 69 percent of women who have not pursued careers in information technology attribute their choice to not knowing what opportunities are available to them.
With today’s announcement, Palo Alto Networks and GSUSA plan to introduce cybersecurity education to millions of girls across the United States through compelling programming designed to increase their interest and instill in them a valuable 21st century skillset. This national effort is a huge step toward eliminating traditional barriers to industry access, such as gender and geography, and will target girls as young as five years old, helping to ensure that even the youngest girls have a foundation primed for future life and career success.
The new badges will deepen the existing commitment that Girl Scouts has made to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) by using the organization’s unique, "fun with purpose" K–12 curriculum that inspires girls to embrace and celebrate scientific discovery in their lives at all ages.
“Our mission to prevent cyberattacks and restore trust in the digital age is only achievable if we make meaningful investments not just in technology but also in people. Our collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA to develop curriculum for the first-ever national Cybersecurity badges will positively influence the future of our industry by helping build tomorrow’s diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyberthreats.”
–Mark D. McLaughlin, chairman and chief executive officer, Palo Alto Networks
“At Girl Scouts of the USA, we recognize that in our increasingly tech-driven world, future generations must possess the skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the cyber realm. From arming our older girls with the tools to address this reality to helping younger girls protect their identities via internet safety, the launch of our national cybersecurity badge initiative represents our advocacy of cyber preparedness―and our partnership with Palo Alto Networks makes a natural fit for our efforts. It is our hope that our collaboration will serve to cultivate our troops’ budding interest in cybersecurity by providing access to invaluable knowledge that may otherwise not be available to girls―in communities across the United States.”
–Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of the USA
To learn more about how Girl Scouts transforms today’s girls into tomorrow’s leaders, and to volunteer, reconnect, donate or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.
About Palo Alto Networks
Palo Alto Networks is the next-generation security company, leading a new era in cybersecurity by safely enabling applications and preventing cyber breaches for tens of thousands of organizations worldwide. Built with an innovative approach and highly differentiated cyberthreat prevention capabilities, our game-changing security platform delivers security far superior to legacy or point products, safely enables daily business operations, and protects an organization’s most valuable assets. Find out more at www.paloaltonetworks.com.
About Girl Scouts of the USA
We're 2.6 million strong—1.8 million girls and 800,000 adults who believe in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world. Our extraordinary journey began more than 100 years ago with the original G.I.R.L., Juliette Gordon "Daisy" Low. On March 12, 1912, in Savannah, Georgia, she organized the very first Girl Scout troop, and every year since, we've honored her vision and legacy, building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. We're the preeminent leadership development organization for girls. And with programs from coast to coast and across the globe, Girl Scouts offers every girl a chance to practice a lifetime of leadership, adventure, and success. To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit www.girlscouts.org.
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