Juniper Aims to Help Improve IT Security Education

VIDEO: Christofer Hoff, security CTO at Juniper Networks, discusses his RSA keynote and why the next generation is the key for security.

IT security education

SAN FRANCISCO—When it comes to IT security, Christofer Hoff, vice president and security CTO at Juniper Networks, believes it's important to train people as early as possible. Hoff delivered a keynote at the RSA Conference here today in which he detailed his views on the future of security.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Hoff explained that one big macro issue in IT security that hasn't been properly addressed is the people problem.

"The people problem is that is you expect users to do the right thing, which is to not do the wrong thing," Hoff said.

In Hoff's view, the existing generation of developers have their own ways of thinking, or not thinking, about security. As such, there is now an opportunity to think about the next generation of security, which is to actually help children learn about IT security, he said.

Hoff wants security education to go beyond just awareness.

"Theory without practice is sort of useless," Hoff said.

As such, Hoff said that the emphasis needs to be on practical applications that can be applied to make the next generation of developers more aware of security and also able to actually do something about it.

To help further educate people, Juniper is announcing an extension of its relationship with, which is a code development organization effort. Juniper is providing a grant to to help build a secure coding and infrastructure program for high schools. Hoff declined to detail the specific dollar amount that Juniper is donating for the grant.

"Our goal is to take what they've done with to teach people to code, to help teach people how to code securely," Hoff said.

Watch the full video interview with Christofer Hoff below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner

Sean Michael Kerner is an Internet consultant, strategist, and contributor to several leading IT business web sites.