This project is committed to creating and training the future pioneers of cyberspace using global technology and cybersecurity expertise. By engaging in transboundary cyber exchange we are helping to address the challenges communities and countries face in interacting, living, and working in the 21st century and protecting critical digital infrastructure.
Following a visit to Agona Swedru, Ghana, in June 2021, there was a realization that most African countries, including Ghana, are currently going through a digitization wave. As the digital economies in these countries continue to develop, there’s naturally going to be an intrinsic need for more cybersecurity experts. Following the trip, Dr. Yankson partnered with some of his colleagues and the University at Albany, particularly the CEHC Cyber Range and Hack-IoT labs to provide foundational and ongoing cybersecurity education, training, and awareness using expertise from around the world to train K-12 students, university students, and citizens in areas of technology and cybersecurity. Although Global CyberTech Exchange is derived from experiences in Ghana, we recognize the global digital divides and the need to improve technology and cyber skills, both here and abroad. Therefore, we are openly collaborating with schools, communities, and countries that have historically faced marginalization and greater social vulnerability, in the USA, Africa, Canada, and beyond. Our goal is to ensure that the global technology and cyber gaps can be addressed by going outside our comfort zones through grassroots efforts to make a more secure cyber world – as no one person, community, or country can be protected if they all are not.
Our Knowledge Exchange
We recognize that cross-cultural learning and knowledge exchange can be transformative by breaking down barriers that limit human progress and growth revealing common humanity. Our goal is to conduct transboundary technology and cyber exchanges to break down digital barriers that communities and countries face and fill the digital gap around the world. Currently, our knowledge exchange is focused on sharing information and conducting training among and between the USA, Ghana, and Canada, although our plan is to continually expand our endeavors to other countries and communities.
Cybersecurity Skill Shortage – According to a June 2014 study by the RAND Corporation, “the nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals – particularly for positions within the federal government – creates risks for national and homeland security.” As cyber-attacks have increased, so has the demand for professionals who are trained to stop such attacks. Unfortunately, the US has over 300,000 cybersecurity jobs unfilled due to the lack of qualified professionals with the skillsets necessary to fill the gaps.
Cybersecurity Training – One way to fight cybercrime is to effectively educate the public through cybersecurity awareness campaigns. Yet, cybersecurity training is catered to some university students or experts, leaving many K-12 students, teachers, businesses, and citizens exposed to cyber threats.
Increases in Cyber Threats- In the US, cyber threats pose one of the gravest national security risks. The US national position makes them a more suitable target for cyber criminals where data breaches compromise bank records, credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other private information.
Cybersecurity Skill Shortage – The Government of Ghana (“GOG”) is embarking on a Ghana Digital Transformation and Infrastructural Development Program focusing on national broadband infrastructure, total connectivity, government services, and accessibility for the unserved and underserved communities. Unfortunately, Ghana lacks cybersecurity professional expertise with the skillsets necessary to support and protect key digital infrastructure, including banks, telecommunication, utilities, and government services.
Cybersecurity Programs within Secondary Schools – Although secondary schools in Ghana have ICT programs, most of the curricula do not have any courses in cybersecurity.
Increases in Cybercrime- Ghana ranks amongst the top countries in Africa for internet fraud. Our program is intended to educate young students about cybercrime, the impacts, and consequences as well as provide students the opportunity to learn other legitimate ways of making money online, such as software bounty hunting.
Cybersecurity Skill Shortage – As cyber threats increase, the demand for cyber security professionals in Canada is increasing by 7% each year. If a business uses the Internet or a network to perform its tasks, they have a need for cyber security professionals opening up countless job opportunities. Unfortunately due to the growth in demand, Ghana lacks the cybersecurity professionals to support and protect these sectors.
Cybersecurity Training – One way to advance national security and protect critical infrastructures throughout Canada would be to promote and utilize cybersecurity training and education. In Canada, there are a number of training options available including certifications, college certificates, university degrees, and on-the-job training.
Increases in Cyber Threat- Despite its small market size, Canada is the third most targeted country to possible cyber attacks. The growing threat of cyber attacks has made governments and industries more aware of the need to protect and defend the information and systems Canadians rely on.