Parents looking to keep their teens challenged this summer can enroll them in Hacker Highschool (HHS), which provides free online lessons for teens, the most recent of which is the result of IBM’s partnership with ISECOM and HHS. These lessons are designed to help students learn hacking as a means of figuring out how things work. Currently, there are 12 lessons available, starting aptly with “Being a Hacker.”
In a blog post today, Pete Herzog, managing director at ISECOM wrote that HHS is “a great tool specifically designed to teach teens how to approach problems with a hacking mentality – and it’s available for free, online. The only prerequisites teens need to get started are a natural curiosity and an eagerness to learn.”
Additionally, David Jarvis, security lead for the IBM Institute for Business Value, and Heather Ricciuto, academic outreach leader for IBM Security, joined Herzog in a podcast released today to talk about why cybersecurity awareness and hacking skills are critical for today’s youth. Commenting on what drew them to partner with HHS, Ricciuto said the goals were aligned with their “new collar” initiative, adding, “we need to engage kids in cybersecurity discussions a lot earlier than we traditionally have been.”
The newest lesson for the curriculum is “Defensive Hacking” and serves as an introduction to some of the skills and tools needed for a security operation center analyst role,” Ricciuto said. “We worked closely with Hacker Highschool to understand where they wanted to take their curriculum next and to then determine the best fit for a collaborative lesson with IBM. Because SOC analyst skills are in high demand, and the junior SOC Analyst role is one that does not necessarily require a traditional degree for entry, we quickly landed on defensive hacking as the subject for this collaborative lesson.
“A small group of IBM Security experts volunteered their time to help develop this exciting new defensive hacking lesson. We are thrilled to see the fruits of our collaboration made available today, just in time for summer.”
It’s understood that these lessons aren’t establishing the trajectory of a participant’s career. “No matter where they end up in their professional lives…these students will always be hackers at heart. For teens looking to develop the grit, resourcefulness and creativity necessary to solve a wide variety of problems, this summer is the perfect time to learn how to hack,” Herzog wrote.