New Girl Scout badges focus on cyber crime, not cookie sales

Cookie sales may take a back seat to fighting identity theft and other computer crime now that Girl Scouts as young as 5 are to be offered the chance to earn their first-ever cyber security badges.

Armed with a needle and thread, U.S. Girl Scouts who master the required skills can attach to their uniform’s sash the first of 18 cyber security badges that will be rolled out in September 2018, Girls Scouts of the USA said in a press release.

The education program, which aims to reach as many as 1.8 million Girl Scouts in kindergarten through sixth grade, is being developed in a partnership between the Girl Scouts and Palo Alto Networks (PANW.N), a security company.

The goal is to prevent cyber attacks and restore trust in digital operations by training “tomorrow’s diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyber threats,” Mark McLaughlin, chief executive officer of Palo Alto Networks, said in the release.

The move to instill “a valuable 21st century skill set” in girls best known for cookie sales is also aimed at eliminating barriers to cyber security employment, such as gender and geography, said Sylvia Acevedo, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA.

Read more at Reuters.

Image courtesy of Reuters.

A Girl Scout works on a laptop, as the Girl Scouts of the USA introduce 18 new Cybersecurity badges