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Palo Alto Networks Unlocks the Importance of Cybersecurity for Local Teachers

India CYBER ACES Blog (650 × 440 Px)

By: Vrushali Shirodkar – Senior Manager, People Business Partner & CR Lead 

Palo Alto Networks aims to protect our digital way of life and envisions a world where each day is safer than the one before, so it makes sense that providing access to cybersecurity education is a primary component of our social impact work to uplift communities around the world. But whether you are new to technology or an experienced user of computers and the internet, cybersecurity can often be an intimidating subject to approach for both youth and adults. For educators, there is an additional need to understand what cybersecurity is and how they can protect themselves before feeling comfortable educating their students as an authority figure.

That’s why on May 24, 2023, employees at our Bangalore, India office hosted nearly 70 teachers from National Public School, Koramangala branch for an event titled “Empowering Educators – Unlocking the Importance of Cyber Safety.” This half-day session introduced participants to cybersecurity by exploring various risks and challenges that arise in the digital realm, but also equipped educators with the knowledge and tools to help students (and themselves) navigate online environments proactively and safely.

The primary focus of the event was to prepare and empower teachers to bring cybersecurity education into their classrooms, and teachers learned the significance and importance of educating students on the potential risks associated with sharing sensitive information online. They were also introduced to effective methods for teaching students to create strong passwords, identify phishing attempts, and recognize the importance of maintaining a secure digital footprint. The session also shed light on the power of social engineering and the manipulation of human psychology to deceive individuals into sharing sensitive information. 

Before the end of the event, educators also participated in various activities and discussions based on our Cyber A.C.E.S. program to help them internalise the theoretical knowledge they’d been learning, as well as model how to bring cyber education into their own classrooms. Cyber A.C.E.S. – Activities in Cybersecurity Education for Students – aims to demystify cybersecurity for youth through interactive activities that allow them explore key cyber-related topics and concepts in age-appropriate ways. 

“Helping kids protect themselves online is extremely important, which is why we care so much about making our cybersecurity education materials not only accessible and widely available, but fun and approachable as well. Our Cyber A.C.E.S. lessons are an excellent resource to help teachers easily integrate these engaging activities into their classrooms, and it was an absolute pleasure to participate in this event,” said Lisa Sim, Head of Marketing in JAPAC. Lisa also leads the Cyber SAFE KIDS program at Palo Alto Networks, which builds upon Cyber A.C.E.S. by offering free online workshops, events and other interactive media to help children protect their digital way of life in the JAPAC region.

The active involvement of teachers during the session, including asking insightful questions and sharing personal experiences, greatly enriched the learning environment for everyone. Many teachers expressed gratitude for the comprehensive overview of cyber safety and how it empowered them with the necessary knowledge and skills to cultivate a safer and more secure online space for students.

“The Cyber Safe [Kids] program for children, developed by the company, is a wonderful program,” said Priyanka Gupta, one of the educators who participated in the event. “We learned how to look out for red flags while working on the computer. Many recommendations were given like not opening the link sent in an email directly, not accessing sensitive information on your phone or computer when you are on an unsecure network, etc.” 

“We not only learned the terms and jargon of the virtual world but became aware of the ways to safeguard children and ourselves from all-pervading hazards. The hands-on activity session was thoroughly enjoyable and consolidated the key takeaways from the entire program,” said Ms. Geeta Kathait, another teacher who participated in the event.

Our employees care deeply about making a meaningful impact in their communities, which is why our commitment goes beyond simply providing free access to a variety of resources on our website. Giving back is embedded within Palo Alto Networks culture, and those who have the capacity to reach others actively seek out ways to do so. You can learn more about how we uplift our communities on our Corporate Responsibility page.

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