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Finland to make cybersecurity a skill across EU

A Finnish, EU-funded project has set out to make cybersecurity a civic skill among people of all ages across the 27-country bloc.

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Researchers at Aalto University are devising an educational package on cybersecurity in a project that has been granted five million euros under the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility.

The primary objective of the three-year project is to establish cybersecurity as a civic skill across the 27-country bloc, a reflection of growing recognition of its importance in constantly digitalising societies.

“Understanding the basics of information security is increasingly important, and digital literacy in general is a civic skill in today’s digital societies,” stated Jarno Limnéll, professor of practice in cybersecurity at Aalto University.

Led by Limnéll, the research team rolled up its sleeves last week, first setting out to determine what materials and practices are used today to teach cybersecurity skills to the public in the EU.

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka pointed out that the ability and willingness of citizens to use digital services is a critical determiner of the pace of the digital transformation. “Being able to trust in digital products and services is essential. Having security as a built-in feature and raising awareness among users of its importance creates trust,” he underscored.

Aalto University has a great deal of expertise in cybersecurity, its faculty having been involved in not only research and teaching, but also in the development and production of educational materials.

The project team will also utilise the university’s expertise in other disciplines to, for example, introduce game-like elements to motivate learners. The educational material will be designed to be practical and easy to use, as well as take into account the specific requirements of different age groups.

The importance of the project is illustrated by the fact that it was granted funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, argued Rauli Paananen, national cybersecurity director at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

“Teaching cybersecurity skills and providing related training and education is a worthwhile investment and an opportunity to make use of novel learning methods,” he said.

The material produced in the project will be published on a website accessible in all languages of the EU.

By: Aleksi Teivainen