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Game-based intervention to address Cyber security Skills Gap

A talk by Dr. Chitra Balakrishna
Program Leader, Cyber security, Open University

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About this talk

Recent studies indicate a severe global shortage of cyber security professionals. The reason for this could be attributed to increasing cyber-attacks caused by poor security behaviour by end users, fresh graduates and young professionals lack the skills that the industry demands, and cyber security as a discipline has an image of being 'geeky', 'technical' and even 'uninteresting' leading to a small uptake of cybersecurity related degrees and lack of wider representation.

Unlike other disciplines within the IT sector, cybersecurity is a unique combination of technical skills, aptitude, and behaviour. Traditional instructional approach of providing information about risks and reactive measures is inadequate to train future cyber security professionals. There is a need for a paradigm shift in the way cyber security is taught and cyber security professionals are trained with focus on communicating secure behaviour and aptitude, in addition to imparting technical and non-technical cyber security skills.

Serious games and game-based learning methods have been researched as effective pedagogical tools. Game players regularly exhibit persistence, risk-taking, attention to detail and problem solving; all behaviours are ideally suited for effective cyber security training. This talk will present my experiences and experiments in cyber security education and the use of game-based interventions for effective cyber security training

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