NextGen Girls aimed to upscale ISOC 25 Under 25 Award winner Respect Girls on Internet, Beyond the net community grant project by developing a network of university and high school girls studying ICT. The goal of the project was developing females to pursue emerging IoT security careers to help build safer and secure IoT environment at homes, workplaces and in their communities. The emergence of pocket sized computing devices, capable of electronic switching, sensing, controlling equipment, video and audio has created a new paradigm shift in home automation, business, agriculture, transport , environment technologies. The IoT systems uses internet at the core. Insecure uses of IoT, specially at homes endanger safety and breach privacy of individuals and families. Women are the most vulnerable as IoT have been misused to invade women privacy for sex revenge, harassment, data breach and other scams. Obtaining support from male experts in the event of IoT breach is a risk according to women safety activists. The solution was developing IoT and security skills among women to safe guard homes, workplaces and community from IoT breaches.
Women becoming IoT security experts immensely contributes to gender equality, diversity and growth in femal IoT economy. The activities of this project include creating an IoT and Security Curriculum including Internet governance,Privacy, IPV6, IoT, Networking, Information Security and open web technologies and training 40 female University students to become Internet Security Educators. They trained 160 of their peers, and make awareness to 800 high school girls in IoT safety. The training delivered through 8 workshops at 4 universities, 24 live online training sessions, 2 meet-ups and an IoT hackathon among girls. The outcomes of NextGen Gilrs were development of a sustainable women community network specialising in IoT and security, advocating IoT safety, and enable support for victims while increasing women participation in IoT and Security field. In a long term, NextGen Girls community will become a women lead ecosystem for increasing IoT safety and advancement of women in emerging IoT industry.