In the autumn of 2018, the City of Espoo implemented the ‘Hack with Espoo’ course focusing on ethical hacking. Based on positive experiences, the course will be expanded to cover vocational education so that more young people can be reached. The course, to be organised in the autumn of 2019, will be offered to upper secondary school students in Espoo as well as business information technology students at Omnia Vocational College.
The course teaches responsibility and introduces tools used for hacking, and the students are given an opportunity to test the security of the city’s information systems.
The first course was a success from the point of view of the city, the partner companies and the students. The overarching theme of the course is to find young people who are capable and interested in computer science, and to use the course in a pre-emptive manner to teach young people about correct online behaviour and what is considered as trespassing against the law.
Joint effort with companies
The City of Espoo implements the course together with its partner companies. The information security company Second Nature Security is mainly responsible for providing the teaching, and other partners supporting and enabling the course include LähiTapiola and Cisco. Furthermore, the course has guest lecturers representing hacker communities as well as authorities.
The City of Espoo wants to follow up with similar activities if the participants are excited about the course and want to improve their skills further. In practice, this would mean events such as hacker competitions through which young people could develop their skills according to their own interest.
“In Espoo, we are very happy and grateful that our partners want to collaborate with us to improve data security and take responsibility for young people. We could not organise the course without their contribution. Through our example, we wish to highlight the fact that young people have know-how and that we can develop our services together with them,” says Matti Parviainen, Chief Information Security Officer at the City of Espoo.
The City of Turku has also incorporated ethical hacking into its curriculum.
“We wish to contribute so that the training will reach all young hackers in Finland one day. We are challenging other municipalities to join, and also the entities responsible for teaching and cybersecurity,” Parviainen says firmly.
Matti Parviainen, Chief Information Security Officer, City of Espoo
tel. +358 43 827 0246, email@example.com