Inequalities in Cybersecurity Education within the EU

No joint learning model or common practices on cyber security within the European Union.

Cybersecurity has become one of the most important concerns of the European Union today. The growing threat of cyber criminals has led the EU to invest large amounts of money in improving its ability to defend itself against cyber attacks. However, there is an inequality in cyber security education within the EU that is preventing all European citizens from being equally prepared to deal with these threats.

According to some studies, only 40% of EU companies provide cybersecurity training to their employees. This means that 60% of EU workers do not have access to the cybersecurity education they need to protect themselves against cyber-attacks. This lack of training is not only a problem for businesses but also affects citizens in general. If workers are not trained to detect and prevent cyber-attacks, this can have serious consequences for the security of the EU as a whole.

EU disparity

There is also a wide disparity in the quality of cybersecurity education offered in different EU countries. For example, in countries such as Germany, France and the UK, cybersecurity education is a priority and is widely offered at universities and technical schools. In other EU countries, however, cybersecurity education is less common and often limited to specific training programmes rather than being integrated into general education.

According to the report “Cyber Citizens’ Skills and their Development in the European Union” by the Aalto University of Helsinki, there is no joint learning model or common practices in Europe in relation to cybersecurity. As a result, there is an uneven response in each country.

This unevenness in cybersecurity education within the EU is particularly worrying in light of the growing threat of cyber attacks. Increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals are using advanced techniques to gain access to the information and systems of businesses and citizens. Without action to address this gap, the EU risks falling behind in the fight against cyber-attacks and putting its security and economy at risk.

EU initiatives

To address this inequality in cybersecurity education, the EU has established a number of initiatives to improve cybersecurity training. One such initiative is the EU Cybersecurity Strategy, which aims to improve cybersecurity education and training across the EU. The strategy includes measures such as the creation of a network of cybersecurity centres of excellence and the promotion of cybersecurity education in schools and universities across the EU.

In addition, the EU has established the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre, which aims to coordinate Member States’ efforts to improve cybersecurity education and training. The centre will provide specialised training and support services to improve the ability of citizens and businesses to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.

INCIBE’s response

In Spain, the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) has presented various plans to enhance education in this area, seeking to strengthen digital trust, cybersecurity and resilience in public and private environments. An example of this is INCIBE’s strategic slogan for the period 2021-2025: “From thousands to millions”.

This slogan reflects INCIBE’s ambition to reach more citizens and companies with its actions.