BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Governor John Bel Edwards and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) are looking to address the nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals.

CISA Director Jen Easterly and Gov. Edwards will announce the launch of the Louisiana-funded CYBER.ORG Range during a press conference at the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City on Monday. The program is designed to help K-12 students build cybersecurity skills through hands-on knowledge.

CYBER.ORG Range provides students with free resources and builds educator confidence in teaching cybersecurity. Teachers will guide students in using real-world tools common in cyber-attacks and learn how to defend against them. Although the tools are available for all students, there is an emphasis on those in high school. 

A media release Thursday stated, “The expansion of the CYBER.ORG Range is critical to prepare the next generation of cybersecurity professionals for the challenges of tomorrow.”

Nationwide there is a shortage of over 750,000 cybersecurity professionals. Officials say increased threats have created an urgent need to invest in the cybersecurity workforce.

The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. Monday in the 1st floor lobby of the CIC on E. Texas St. Press conference attendees can test out the CYBER.ORG Range through live demonstrations following the ribbon-cutting ceremony.