Beating cyber aggressors at their own game
Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have developed a cyber card game that helps staff identify and learn about some of the key open source techniques a cyber aggressor might use to gain insight, access and control over industrial and commercial infrastructures.
Extensive testing of the game and positive stakeholder feedback has shown a very rapid initial learning curve compared to conventional training alone and this contributed to the game winning the 2018 Dstl Innovator of the Year award.
The UK government and commercial sectors face a growing challenge in the form of cyber attacks and information warfare from criminals and state actors. Such attacks take various forms and are often very sophisticated, meaning they may go unnoticed. Training staff to recognise and counter common information warfare attack strategies can be difficult, time consuming and expensive.
The key benefits of Dstl’s cyber card game are that it:
- provides a rapid upskilling in understanding high-level, open-source cyber-attack techniques, and enhances learning on possible defensive strategies
- offers a more enjoyable approach to cyber training – staff have the option to continue playing in their own time
- is adaptable across a range of audiences and knowledge levels – the game can be tailored to various scenarios, ranging from a rapid two-hour session for corporate management through to an extended campaign for cyber professionals
- avoids using classified information, and therefore does not need security clearance to play.
The lead scientist who developed the game at Dstl says, ‘It is exciting to see the cyber card game being developed externally for the benefit of both security and commercial environments.’
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