Cyber Security Education2018-09-14T10:11:09+00:00

Secure Decisions has developed a diverse portfolio of interactive cyber security education technologies designed to engage the learner at all levels.

The need for skilled computer network defenders is rapidly growing, both in the commercial sector and in government. Training the next generation of computer network defenders who understand the tools, techniques and processes of Information Security and Information Assurance (IA) is a challenge being addressed in many different ways. And as evidenced by continued headlines of breaches resulting from user actions like clicking on email links, new methods and approaches are needed to teach everyone safe computing, a concept critical for our modern digital lives. Learning safe computing is more than just knowing what could happen; we need to learn new attitudes and behaviors to practice safe computing.

Branching Interactive Graphic Stories for Cyber Security Education (BIGSCE)

The Branching Interactive Graphic Stories for Cyber Security Education (BIGSCE) project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, will enable us to evaluate an innovative approach to cyber security education: how to use branching (“choose-your-own-adventure”) comic stories to teach middle school students about cyber security. These choose your own adventure stories provide opportunities to explore cause and effect, and the comic book style is engaging to middle school students. The project will leverage Comic-BEE, Secure Decision’s cyber security education technology based on research sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, Cyber Security Division (DHS S&T/CSD).

BIGSCE will inform the development of new approaches to teaching and learning cyber security: branching graphic stories can incorporate culturally relevant pedagogy, and therefore have the potential to reach a broader and more diverse body of students. The goal of BIGSCE is to explore how this innovative technology can enhance cyber security education, with the following aims:

  1. Attract a broad and diverse workforce to the field of cyber security, starting in middle school.
  2. Use expert-created comics to evaluate a learner’s knowledge, skill, and ability in the area of cyber security.
  3. Deepen students’ understanding of cyber security challenges and consequences using a comic creation activity. BIGSCE will also contribute new understanding of how to effectively use branching graphic stories as a learning and assessment tool for middle school students.

Secure Decisions is partnering with Stony Brook University, led by Dr. Lori Scarlatos, Associate Professor, Department of Technology. Student sessions will be held at the Town of North Hempstead’s “Yes We Can Community Center” in New Cassel, New York.

“Branching Interactive Graphic Stories for Cybersecurity Education” (BIGSCE) is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the Award Number is 1623131.

Comic-BEE (formerly known as CyberWISE)

Comic-BEE: (Comic Based Education and Evaluation for Cyber Security)

A tool for creating interactive curriculum for cyber security

Comic-BEE (formerly known as CyberWISE) is a web-based technology designed to assist cyber security educators and subject matter experts, who are neither programmers nor artists, to develop web-based branching, graphic stories ( “choose-your-own-adventure” stories) that are closely aligned with instructional goals. Readers will follow a character’s decisions about risky computing activities and make choices for the character that can change the direction of the storyline and ultimately affect the character’s exposure to security and privacy risks. Comic-BEE provides an integrated, guided process for educators and subject matter experts to plan a lesson, write the script of their branching story, storyboard the visual layout of their comic, and format the comic with final artwork prior to online delivery and presentation. This new educational technology will simplify and accelerate the creation of effective cyber security education materials that raise the general population’s awareness of cyber threats and the means to guard against them.

Comic-BEE is sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate under Contract number: HSHQDC-14-B0019.

SimBLEND: A Simulation-Based Learning Environment for Network Defense

The result of a research program funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory Human Effectiveness Directorate, Warfighter Readiness Research Division (AFRL/HEA) to develop new and exciting concepts for training the next generation of cyber warriors, SimBLEND facilitates  blending the delivery of computer based training (CBT) materials with interactive visualizations and serious games to create a web-based environment where learning is fun and skills can be practiced immediately. To demonstrate SimBLEND, we created browser-based, CND-themed casual games that focused on low-level cyber security concepts and tools. These games are simple to use and can be delivered as stand-alone games or integrated into a Learning Management System or other training environment.

SimBLEND was sponsored by Air Force Research Laboratory Contract number: FA8650-08-C6858.

SimBLEND: A Simulation-Based Learning Environment for Network Defense
ShortCut for serious game development

ShortCut for serious game development

Creating interactive visualizations and educational games for skill acquisition is hard, requiring subject matter expertise and interactive design skills. Instructional goals and specific subject matter details must be integrated with other information to develop interactive scenarios. To provide a more efficient turnaround of training games or visualizations, we are developing ShortCut, a web-based collaborative framework for rapid development of serious games. ShortCut’s goal is to facilitate knowledge exchange between subject matter experts and game designers, thereby streamlining the creation of serious games.  Using an interactive, web-based knowledge elicitation, ShortCut allows the instructor or subject matter expert to describe in detail the subject matter, and it also captures additional information needed by interaction and game designers, such as learning objectives and descriptions of real-world situations using the skill or knowledge.