Need a cybersecurity expert? Never fear, qualified Girl Scouts are here.

Or at least they will be. Girl Scouts of the USA and Palo Alto Networks has announced a collaboration to introduce a series of 18 cybersecurity badges for girls K-12. The badges, which will help Scouts explore opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) while building leadership skills, will be available to earn beginning in September 2018.

Badges, of course, are the insignia Girl Scouts — now 1.8 million strong — display on their tunics, vests and sashes.


Sylvia Acevedo, chief executive officer of the Scouts, said in a statement her organization aims to help girls gain “skills to navigate the complexities and inherent challenges of the cyber realm” while learning to protect their identities online.

Palo Alto Networks, which provides next-generation cybersecurity for businesses, will help the Scouts investigate career options that might lead them to filling jobs in a field expected to need millions more workers. According to the latest Cybersecurity Jobs Report by Cybersecurity Ventures, the worldwide deficit of qualified cybersecurity professionals will reach 3.5 million by 2021.

Females make up just 11% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to a study by non-profit…