Why nominated: As director of the non-profit Center for Cyber Safety and Education – the charitable arm of (ISC)2 –Patrick Craven has overseen the rollout of an influential children’s cyber safety education program, starring the cartoon cat Garfield, in schools across the country. Craven is also the founder of Cyber Safety Day, a one-day event that connects generous companies with schools in need of digital citizenship education.
Profile: Around the time Craven joined the Center’s team in September 2015, the nonprofit released a ground-breaking study on young children’s behavior, which found that a surprisingly high percentage of kids had engaged in unsafe or harmful behavior on the internet. Seeking a global solution, Craven partnered with cartoonist Jim Davis to develop Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures, an award winning educational and interactive program that teaches young children about cyber safety topics such as privacy, safe posting and cyberbullying. After a single Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures lesson, a child’s internet safety knowledge increases on average 28 percent. Future lessons planned by Craven include the dangers of downloading, online image control and viruses.
In 2018 alone, the Center delivered a total of 53,127 Garfield cyber lessons to children, and Craven’s goal for 2019 is to double that number through outreach to schools, libraries and other organizations. During the first-ever Cyber Safety Day in New Orleans last year, 2,304 children at 17 elementary schools received free copies of Garfield’s Cyber Safety Adventures.
Through its Safe and Secure Online program, the Center last year taught cyber safety to 52,146 English-speaking pre-teens, parents and senior citizens. But Craven is striving to globalize and universalize these educational resources by instituting a rapid translation project that will make content available in 30 different languages by the end of this year. Currently, the Center has materials in 12 different languages.
Through the Center, a total of $170,000 in scholarship funding was awarded last year to students and professionals around the world, in various stages of their careers. Sixty-four percent of recipients in 2018 were female.
What colleagues say: “Technology moves quick, but the need to plant the seed in young children and get them interested in cybersecurity is something that takes time. The first attempt is getting them interested in something they like – and what better way than through Garfield the Cat?… Pat, with his years of experience with the Boy Scouts of America, has taken the concept of educating children to a simpler level with the use of activities, videos and comic books to help illustrate the importance of cyber safety… To date, Pat’s vision has helped tens of thousands of children learn more about cyber safety, and even introduced cybersecurity as a potential career later in life.” – James McQuiggan, product and solution security officer, Americas at Siemens Gamesa