Learning Outcomes for Cyber Defense Competitions.
Students who graduate from information systems (IS), information security/assurance (ISA), and information technology (IT) programs rarely possess all of the required skills and knowledge needed in order to fill an information security role for an employer right away. High schools, technical schools, universities, and training centers have sought to simulate the work environment to prepare participants for future opportunities. Competitions range from industry-sponsored events where university students protect and defend "digital fortresses" to "War Games" for academics (Angelo, 2006) to the nationally recognized Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC).
With breaches making the news, like Russia's alleged compromise of a Democrat National Committee (DNC) email server (Lewis, 2016) and North Korea's alleged cyber thefts (Cha, 2016), it is clear that information security threats will continue to increase, remain dynamic, and be difficult to predict in organizations, much like the scenarios simulated in CDCs. Moreover, the market for information security professionals has increased dramatically, with over 200,000 unfilled information security positions in the U.S. alone--and 1 to 1.5 million worldwide by 2019 (Morgan, 2015, 2016), to go along with an unemployment rate of less than 2% (U.S. News & World Report, 2016). Universities who recognize the importance of providing appropriate information security training (Asllani, White, and Ettkin, 2013) will likely attract more students than those who fail to recognize the need for well-trained information security professionals. For academic institutions to retain relevance and appeal to students, they would be wise to implement more real-world training activities, such as CDCs, to prepare our future information security professionals.
Many experts and researchers have noted the importance of graduating qualified, capable students who can help secure critical infrastructures in government. Colesniuc (2013) suggests that securing cyberspace is at least as critical as securing other infrastructures, such as the water systems and electrical grid, while Thales (2010) stresses the importance of securing national infrastructures. Cyberwar has emerged as a recent threat to governmental infrastructures (Cetron et al., 2009), particularly with government legacy infrastructure systems that were designed many years ago. While some sectors, such as the U.S. water system, have a coordinated information sharing program and methods to combat threats (Edwards, 2010), other legacy infrastructures have not instituted organized responses to information security threats. Security considerations--if designed properly at the time--likely need to be revisited; this is particularly true for science and mathematics servers in the U.S. (National Research Council, 2009) which face relentless attempts by unknown adversaries to compromise government-funded and industry-sponsored research and development projects. To protect national security, Asllani, White, and Ettkin (2013) recommend cooperation across government agencies, from local to state to regional to national alliances. The White House agreed, releasing a policy document that promised increased cooperation across borders and an emphasis on protection of critical infrastructure systems, while ensuring basic human rights and compliance with rules and regulations (Crook, 2011). Mulligan and Schneider (2011) go so far as to call information security a "public good" and recommend adopting policies and implementing controls such as those used in public health. Clearly, information security remains an essential component of national security. CDCs offer opportunities to simulate real-world environments and prepare students for jobs after graduation.
CDCs have grown in popularity in the past decade. Governmental and industry groups, with an increased focus on STEM education, seek to prime the pipeline for talent at a young age, beginning in middle school or earlier. The first high school CDC--IT-Adventures and the IT-Olympics--was held at Iowa State University (Rursch, Luse, and Jacobson, 2010) in an effort to build interest in and capabilities for information security. At the middle and high school levels, the Air Force Association began offering the CyberPatriot program in 2009 with a small group of eight teams participating. By 2015-2016, over 3,000 students participated in the competition (Air Force Association, 2016). Similarly, the US Cyber Challenge attracts about 10,000 potential information security experts--high school students to help fill the pipeline of college information security majors in the future (Acohido, 2010).
At the college level, NYU boasts the oldest competition, holding its first Cyber Security Awareness Week and associated CDCs in 2004; in 2014, the number of participants had grown to 20,000 students (NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, 2014). The most well-known college competition, the CCDC began as a small regional competition in 2005, with eight teams participating, and moved to the national level in 2006 (White and Dodge, 2006). By 2016, the CCDC showed tremendous growth with more than 180 schools participating (PR Newswire, 2016). Clearly, there is mounting interest in offering information security training at all levels, combined with a strong need for stimulating and maintaining interest in the discipline, from the earliest ages, to meet the increased workforce demands of the future.
While there are general guidelines and some consistency between the levels of competition (middle/high school vs. 2-year/4-year colleges) and across regions, there are no standardized, agreed upon learning outcomes for all CDCs. Thus, student learning outcomes are non-existent or, at the least, fragmented and inconsistent. Adding other government and industry sponsored CDCs, the learning outcomes become even less clear. Without consistent learning outcomes based on educational input and industry expertise, applied in a similar, repeatable manner, it is difficult to determine the relative worth of these competitions, along with the benefits to students and future employers. Therefore, to understand the concepts that should be included, we investigated a large, well-established high school CDC held in the Southeast U.S. We divided topics into three categories: technology, social, and human, as originally defined by Beznosov and Beznosova (2007). We then reviewed previous research in information security education and CDCs. We combined this research with a survey of CDC judges and mentors to develop a set of learning outcomes that can be used by IS, ISA, and IT educators as they design curriculum for their students.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Previous studies have reviewed activities associated with CDCs, although over 90% of the identified issues have been associated with technology or technical considerations (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007). There is no standardized set of learning outcomes associated with CDCs, with some using Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) standards (Slusky and Partow-Navid, 2012) and others using components of NSA, NHS, ACM, or ABET curriculum guidelines.
To categorize and study important elements of CDCs, Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) defined technological, social, and human issues. Technological issues refer to "all aspects of computer security that involve purely technological solutions" (p. 422). They use cryptography, access control, intrusion detection, information assurance, and malware as examples of technological issues.
Social issues are defined as "those factors that are due to interactions among more than one person in social or formal organizations and within wider social context" (p. 422). Examples include politics, organizations, and economics. Finally, human issues are "related to or concerned with a person, such as phishing or shoulder surfing" (p. 422).
While this categorization provides a solid framework for future studies, Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) readily acknowledge that their list is not all-inclusive; further, they recognize that multiple items overlap among the categories. Our list of important issues is updated, and more comprehensive than the list proposed by Beznosov and Beznosova (2007), although we concede that our list is not exhaustive either and will need to be updated over time. Further, we carefully analyzed the issues and found several hybrid topics; that is, items that overlapped in two or three of the categories, which has implications for how to model the issues when conducting CDCs. While the overlap was noted and diagrammed in the Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) study, their focus was more on the social issues. We focus on our updated and much more comprehensive list, and model the overlap noted. Now we turn to a review of important issues related to technology, social, and human categories.
Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) defined technological issues as those with a specific technical component; we further required the explicit use of one or more technology tools for an item to fit in this category. Technology tools used in the CDC may include firewalls, network monitoring, vulnerability scanning, intrusion detection and prevention, log scanning and analysis, vulnerability scanning, and packet analysis; specific tools, such as Wireshark (https://www.wireshark.org), the most widely used network traffic analyzer, may be provided. We considered information security essential technology skills, preventing and responding to attacks, security policies, security education, training and awareness (SETA), and computer monitoring, along with compliance with laws and regulations, as issues associated with technology and CDCs, as described in the following sections.
2.1.1 Information security essential technology skills: Most experts agree that a proper technology background is essential to securing the organization's IT infrastructure. Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse (2013) suggested a comprehensive set of skills that students need, including familiarity with operating systems, networking, and computer forensics. Knowledge of Linux and Windows (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013), as well as an understanding of cryptography (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007; CISSP, 2015; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013; Kim and Choi, 2002), malware analysis (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007), and telecommunications and network security (CISSP, 2015; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013), are important essential technological skills for information security professionals. A good information security professional uses technology to integrate security with the software development cycle and within the overall architecture and design plan (CISSP, 2015; Ghiglieri and Stopczynski, 2016). Further, professionals must consider usability (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007) when developing tools to prevent, detect, and recover from information security breaches.
2.1.2 Preventing and responding to attacks: Organizations may use multiple tools to prevent attacks, including access control (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007; CISSP, 2015; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013) and physical security (Cetron et al., 2009; CISSP, 2015). Organizations that implement proper risk management policies and processes may achieve measurable advantages over their competitors (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). Proper use of technology protects information assets using appropriate information assurance policies and tools (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007) to implement information security governance and other information assurance policies (CISSP, 2015; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). Intrusion detection and protection appliances can also be helpful in responding to attacks (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007).
Technology tools that relate to cyber defense include the ability to respond to attacks on critical infrastructure (Colesniuc, 2013). Once an incident occurs, IT professionals may use computer forensics (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013) to identify attackers and prevent new attacks. Ideally, IT professionals complete appropriate penetration testing and protect devices from harm (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). At the same time, they must provide network availability 24/7 (US Army, 2011). Additionally, IT professionals have to determine proper responses during an attack while balancing the needs of customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
2.1.3 Security policies; security education, training, and awareness; and computer monitoring: D'Arcy, Hovav, and Galletta (2009) found that three practices tended to prevent improper use of information systems, including user awareness of security policies; security education, training, and awareness (SETA); and system monitoring. Providing real-time information to stakeholders is a key aspect of information assurance. For instance, the U.S. military provides updated information to all parties using an approach of "network-centric warfare" in an effort to avoid the fog of war (Hill, 2003).
Network monitoring to proactively respond to and prevent attacks is also critical. In 2016, 90% of businesses reported experiencing at least one compromise, with small and medium sized businesses becoming targets of choice as large businesses have improved their information security protection (Cernak, 2016). Thales (2013) reports that almost all organizations in the U.K. have experienced a data breach. As former U.S. Director of National Security, Mike McConnell said "the Chinese have penetrated every major corporation of any consequence in the United States and taken information" (Paglieri, 2015). Plainly, there is a clear and present need to secure information in the public and private sectors. Further, there is a need for properly trained information security professionals to assist in securing organizations across the world.
2.2 Social Issues
Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) defined social issues as those related to politics, organizations, and economics. We provide clarity by expanding the definition to include multiple types of groups that are responsible for completing a related activity. Groups may be organizations, governments, professional industry organizations, or peer groups. These groups set standards, follow cultural norms, and use standard industry and/or organizational policies to accomplish outcomes. For this paper, we consider social issues related to organizations, governments, and other groups, as described below.
2.2.1 Organizations: From an organizational perspective, companies set budgets for protecting information assets while evaluating the economics of security (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007). Understanding the relative cost of security allows IT and information security managers to effectively argue for and acquire the necessary funding to protect their organization. To persuade business managers, information security professionals must remain abreast of current information security topics (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013) and global information security issues (Cetron et al., 2009; Healey, 2011; Kington, 2008). Successful organizations typically have strong, reinforced information security policies (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013), obvious physical security (CISSP, 2015), and clear information security governance standards (CISSP, 2015) to develop plans to secure the interconnected organization (Cetron et al., 2009; CISSP, 2015).
To minimize and prevent attacks, organizations must install and update appropriate security-related tools. A good risk management plan may even lead to competitive advantage (CISSP, 2015; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). From the social perspective, a clearly defined plan that defines how people, processes, and technology will respond to an attack is essential (Colesniuc, 2013). Incident response plans should go beyond the role of IT and information security to include all organizational departments, such as accounting, communications, and operations.
Culture will partially determine the organization's ethics (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). Ethics has a technology and human component as well, as discussed in other sections. Organizations may rely on professional guidelines and industry accepted standards of behavior to regulate professional conduct, negligence, and liability (Harris et al., 2011). As Hannabuss (2000) noted, IT professionals need to understand negligence and liability issues to be effective employees. In addition, employees need to understand organizational policies on privacy (Crook, 2011; Harris et al., 2011). Organizations that state their privacy policies should follow them for all employees, customers, and other stakeholders. SETA programs with regular refresher courses (D'Arcy, Hovav, and Galletta, 2009) will allow employees to understand, engage in, and participate in appropriate standards of behavior.
2.2.2 Governments: Beyond the organization, governments have different concerns, including cyber terrorism, organized crime, and information technology (Cetron et al., 2009). Governments set information security policies based on regulations, guidelines, and the general culture of its citizens. Public policy goals and the prevailing atmosphere combine as governments make difficult decisions about politics and security (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007).
When an incident occurs, the government follows policies and processes that allow them to respond appropriately to the incident as part of an overall risk management plan (Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013). While risk management may allow businesses to achieve advantages over their competitors, governments who do a good job of risk management are more likely to stay in control and keep necessary systems up and running (Thales, 2013). Policies include investigation and compliance (CISSP, 2015) and adherence to laws and regulations (Asllani, White, and Ettkin, 2013; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013), including those regarding privacy (Crook, 2011; Harris et al., 2011) and individual rights.
2.2.3 Other groups: Informal groups may work together to achieve a common goal in a semi-organized, impermanent manner, but may not be part of a larger organization. For instance, hacktivists, including Anonymous, have become an important concern for organizational and government security (Kelly, 2012); Wikileaks is another example. Groups may work together to use social engineering attacks (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007; Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse, 2013), such as phishing, to obtain unauthorized access to systems and networks. Unchecked, these groups may wreak havoc on the organization, similar to the embarrassing data breach suffered by Sony (Elkind, 2015), Julian Assange's coordinated Wikileaks attacks (BBC News, 2017), or the thousands of pages of documents released to the press by Edward Snowden (Macaskill and Dance, 2013). These groups pose a clear and present danger, and they are difficult to locate, secure, and prosecute on a global scale.
2.2.4 Compliance with laws and regulations: IS, ISA, and IT professionals must secure their environments while ensuring compliance with local, regional, national, and global laws, including intellectual property rights (Asllani, White, and Ettkin, 2013; Harris et al., 2011) and privacy rights (Crook, 2011; Harris et al., 2011). Proper design of networks and systems, along with ongoing monitoring and education, help protect intellectual property and other rights.
2.3 Human Issues
Beznosov and Beznosova (2007) defined human issues as those related to or concerned with a person, such as phishing or shoulder surfing. We expand that definition, defining human issues as those where a person is explicitly involved in accomplishing the outcome. The next sections describe human issues, including planning for and carrying out an attack, individual morals and ethics, and social responsibility.
2.3.1 Planning for an attack: Information security professionals must plan for attacks before they happen. Business continuity (BC) and disaster recovery planning (DRP) activities (CISSP, 2015) are people-centered. Phishing and shoulder surfing clearly fit under the human issues as described by Beznosov and Beznosova (2007). Security usability (Beznosov and Beznosova, 2007) also fits under the human issues; perfectly designed security systems are ineffective if users do not use them.
2.3.2 Carrying out attacks: While attacks on critical infrastructure are clearly technological in nature (Colesniuc, 2013), humans often carry out the attacks; thus, we classify attacks on critical infrastructure as a hybrid issue--one with technological and human aspects. Hill's (2003) report of the U.S. using trained personnel to email Iraqi generals during the U.S.-Iraq war, to learn more about the enemy and to give them bad information, fits into this category.
2.3.3 Morals, ethics, and social responsibility: Morals, ethics, and social responsibility are human-centered issues that are important when designing information security and assurance. Fulton, Lawrence, and Clouse (2013) found that including ethics and social responsibility (Harris et al., 2011) in the IS curriculum improves educational outcomes. These issues are important human-centered aspects of a well-rounded information security professional and should be modeled in CDCs. Further, information security professionals should be well-versed on human-centered issues related to professional conduct, privacy, intellectual property, cybercrime, impact on humans, freedom of speech, and green computing (Harris et al., 2011), along with privacy (Crook, 2011; Harris et al., 2011) and professional negligence and liability (Hannabuss, 2000). The end user's personal morals may affect how they perceive sanctions or punishments (D'Arcy, Hovav, and Galletta, 2009), and SETA programs should address those human-centered issues as well.
Based on our literature review, we created a table of topics of important components of CDCs. Table 1 shows these topics and their associated categories: technological, social, and/or human. Hybrid items appear in multiple categories, per our discussion. Although we allowed respondents open-ended "Other" topics, no topic appeared more than once, and thus, we did not include them.
As the table shows, we identified potential topics that fall into all three categories. Unlike previous studies, which relied heavily on technology components, we identified 53.49% of the topics as technological, 58.14% as social, and 20.93% as human.
We distributed a Qualtrics survey via email to judges and mentors who participated in a well-established, annual high school CDC in the Southeast which held its first competition in 2012. Six teams of six students each participated in the event. Mentors with substantial information security experience interacted with the teams and provided goals, corrections, and constructive feedback on a weekly basis (or more often) in the weeks and months leading up to the competition, as well as during and after the CDC. Teams also received feedback and evaluative comments from the judges during the competition, within defined limits. The competition was completed in one day, which lasts from 8-10 hours in total.
The survey included all of the items identified in Table 1. We first asked the respondents how well the CDC prepared students for each of the identified topics, using a 4-point Likert scale that included the following choices: Not at all prepared, Somewhat prepared, Moderately prepared, and Very well prepared.
We then considered what students would do after the competition. In effect, what is the dependent variable, and why do we care? First, given that the students were voluntarily participating in a CDC, we determined that they were likely to be interested in information security. Since this was a high school competition, many of the students planned to attend university and/or technical school in the future. Some would pursue immediate employment, although most were inexperienced in information security. We asked the judges and/or mentors how important it was for participants to understand the topic if they planned to major in information-security related fields and go to college or technical school, enter the workforce, or pursue a military career. We collected their input using a 4-point Likert scale that included the following choices: Not at all important, Somewhat important, Moderately important, and Very important.
We sent email messages asking potential participants to respond to the survey and then sent periodic reminders. In all, we sent email messages to 49 judges and mentors; of those, 11 participants responded for a 22.44% response rate. Eight participants completed the entire survey, while three participants had some missing data. When respondents did not answer a question, we simply omitted the item and did not include it in the analysis. We also gathered demographic data on the respondents, including role (judge, mentor, or other), age, and gender.
Much like the IT workforce in general, the demographic profile of our respondents mirrors the information security field. Our participants were all white males and mostly in their 40s and 50s; none was of Hispanic origin. They had decades of experience in industry as C-level executives, in academia, and in military service. Seven of our respondents served as judges, two served as mentors, and two served as both judge and mentor.
The respondents assessed student preparation on each topic. Table 2 shows the results separated by category: technological, social, and/or human. Some of the questions in these categories had nine respondents, while other questions had ten respondents, with two respondents adding an "Other" option. Since the middle or average response is 2.5 (with ratings of 1, 2, 3, or 4), we divided the topic scores into the following ranges: <2.00--Very Low; 2.00-2.49--Low; 2.50-2.99--Medium; 3.00-3.49--High; and >=3.50--Very High.
Given these ranges, the technological average of 2.41 indicates Low student preparation. Only two topics--Linux and Windows fundamentals--received average responses that were in the High range. Similarly, the social average of 2.12 indicates a Low level of student preparedness. Only social engineering, with an average score of 3.0, received a rating in the High range; all other averages were below 3.0. Human averages fell into the Low preparedness range as well, with an average response of 2.47; no topics received a rating above Medium preparation.
Next we asked the respondents how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to attend university or technical schools, with the results shown in Table 3. Overall, our respondents indicated that technological, social, and human topics were of Medium importance for students who planned to pursue further education. Incident response, Linux fundamentals, providing network availability, and Windows fundamentals received ratings of High importance, while computer forensics, cryptography, malware, and securing IT intellectual property rights received Low ratings.
For social topics, ethics, incident response, professional conduct, risk management, and social engineering were rated as being of High importance, while current information security topics, cyberterrorism, economics of security, hacktivists, information security governance, legal regulations, organized crime and information security, politics and security, and securing IT intellectual property rights were rated as Low importance. Finally, for human topics, ethics and professional conduct received ratings of High importance, while current information security topics evaluated as Low importance.
Next we asked our respondents how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to pursue employment in information security or related fields. As shown in Table 4, our participants believe that all three categories--technological, social, and human--are of High importance for those students who plan to pursue employment, with average scores from 3.13 to 3.36. None of the topics had a rating below Medium importance, with the vast majority of topics rated as being of High or Very High importance.
Next we asked respondents how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to join the military. Our respondents indicated that all three categories of topics were of Medium importance for students who planned to pursue a career in military service, as shown in Table 5. None of the topics received ratings of Very High, with several receiving Low ratings.
CDCs provide an important experiential learning opportunity for students at the high school, university, and post-university levels. While these competitions have become more widespread, there is little consistency in the format of the competition, the topics covered, or the relevance of the competition for the career plans of the participant. In this exploratory study, we used previous research to identify and categorize cyber defense topics as technological, social, or human. Several topics were hybrid, or characteristic of more than one category.
Our survey respondents were Mentors and/or Coaches who participated in a high school CDC. They indicated that the CDC provided students with a generally Low level of preparation across all categories: technological, social, and human, with an overall 2.27/4.00 average, as shown in Table 6. On the positive side, almost all respondents noted that the CDC preparation and competition prepared participants well for Linux, social engineering, and Windows fundamentals, with ratings of 3.10, 3.00, and 3.20, respectively. Clearly, those skills are necessary to build a strong foundation in information security; however, no other skill was rated as High or Very High (3.0 or higher). Surprisingly, our respondents did not believe that the competition prepared students well for several core technological topics, including: attacks on critical infrastructure, computer forensics, cryptography, information assurance, intrusion detection, malware, operations security, penetration testing, providing network availability, security architecture and design, SETA programs, software development security, and telecommunications and network security. All of these categories received overall preparation levels of Low or Very Low. Since the competition asks students to keep a network up and running for routine requests while battling threats, we expected that the participants would have a High or Very high level of preparation for providing network availability and intrusion detection, as well as an ability to respond to attacks on critical infrastructure. Perhaps clearly specified learning outcomes for CDCs would provide a more consistent set of results and better prepare our students for the future. Alternatively, adding competitive aspects to the ISA program, as suggested by Serapiglia (2016), may better prepare students for the aggressive aspects of the CDC.
For social topics, besides social engineering, our respondents rated the competition as Low or Very Low in preparing students for BC/DRP, cyberterrorism, economics of security, global information security, hacktivists, information security governance, information security policies, investigation and compliance, legal regulations, operations security, organized crime and information security, politics and security, professional negligence and liability, risk management, securing IT intellectual property rights, securing the interconnected organization, and SETAs. Perhaps students divide the workload and only one student acquires the social skills needed. Perhaps mentors and/or coaches are more technically oriented. Ensuring equal participation and cross training for team members may improve student preparation.
In the human categories, our respondents indicated Low or Very Low student preparation for attacks on critical infrastructure, BC/DRP, professional negligence and liability, and security usability. Better education on proper security policies and processes could improve these levels of preparation. Further, clearly defined learning outcomes that outline and assess student capabilities may improve scores in these areas.
We investigated further to see how the skills acquired in the CDC experiential learning opportunity matched with pursuit of university/technical education, employment, or military careers. Overall importance of all of the topics averaged 2.61, 3.20, and 2.81 for the categories, respectively. These results were as expected. While some knowledge of the information security topics is important for students who choose to go to university or join the military, much higher levels of overall information security knowledge would be needed for those who seek ISA employment.
Several skills were important across all future opportunities. Windows fundamentals rated as High or Very High for future endeavors, and our respondents believed that the participants were well prepared in this area. Clearly, the way that participants are prepared to use Windows in the CDC is effective, and this is a skill that they are likely to use in the future. Meanwhile, ethics and incident response were rated as being of High or Very High importance while students had a Medium level of preparation.
Providing network availability was rated as Medium or higher importance for all three future opportunities, although students had a Low level of preparation. Since most CDCs simulate attacks on networks, this topic is obviously important. Perhaps coaches and/or mentors should ensure that they focus more on acquiring this skill. Multiple opportunities to ensure network availability in realistic adversarial situations--prior to the competition--may prepare students for this essential skill. Moving toward the use of more hands-on, real-world simulated scenarios in the classroom, and during CDC preparation, may also help.
Risk management was also rated as Medium or higher importance across categories, but students had a Very Low level of preparation. Risk management is policy driven, and thus a social topic. Perhaps requiring detailed risk assessment plans from the teams participating in the CDC would help to alleviate this issue.
Several topics rated as being of High or Very High importance for both employment and the military, but not for those pursuing future educational opportunities. Professional negligence and liability was rated as being of High importance for both, with Very Low levels of student preparation. Information assurance, information security policies, and operations security were rated as being of High or Very High importance for employment and the military, coupled with overall Low levels of student preparation. IT security, phishing, physical security, and privacy were rated as High or Very High importance, while students had Medium levels of preparation. These areas of mismatch between preparation and importance cross all categories--technological, human, and social--and indicate areas where additional efforts should be made to educate students.
CDC participants were rated as being Highly prepared for protecting Linux systems. Respondents indicated that Linux has High or Very High levels of importance for those pursuing future education and employment opportunities and a Medium level of importance for those choosing military careers. From these results, it appears students are well prepared to use Linux in their future endeavors. Educators should continue these efforts going forward.
Numerous topics were rated to be of Low importance for those choosing to pursue future educational opportunities. The topics included: computer forensics, cryptography, current topics in ISA, cyber terrorism, economics of information security, hacktivists, information security governance, legal regulations, malware, organized crime and information security, politics and security, professional conduct, and securing IT intellectual property rights. Interestingly, students were deemed to have Low or Very Low levels of preparation for all of these topics, except current topics in IS and professional conduct, which had Medium levels of student preparation. In these areas and for students pursuing future educational opportunities, there is a good match between the student preparation levels and the importance of the topics.
When looking at the importance of topics for those pursuing future ISA-related employment, our respondents evaluated every single topic as being of Medium or higher levels of importance. It is unfeasible for a single student experiential learning opportunity, no matter how thorough or how well planned, to do a very good job of preparing students for future employment opportunities in all of these topics. Considering that the students in this study were at the high school level, it is even more difficult to train them to be ready to enter the workforce upon completion of the CDC.
Finally, when looking at pursuing military opportunities, all of the topics were rated at being of at least Medium importance, with the exception of economics of information security, risk management, and software development information security, all of which had Very Low levels of importance combined with Very Low levels of student preparation. In these cases, at least, the level of student preparation matches the importance of the topic for future military opportunities, which is a desirable outcome.
Based on our results, we suggest that educators and organizers design CDCs that will meet the following learning outcomes, if many of the participants will be pursuing university or technical school in the future. At the end of the CDC, participants should be able to:
* Write Linux and Windows scripts to support proper security protocols
* Ensure network availability during a simulated attack
* Develop appropriate incident response plans
* Demonstrate how to overcome typical ethical challenges while maintaining network security
* Properly manage risk using accepted information security policies and procedures
* Respond to social engineering attacks using appropriate security management techniques
For students pursuing information security employment after the CDC, all of the topics were rated at Medium levels of importance or higher. Educators and organizers should consider offering longer and more in-depth study of multiple topics if the intent is to develop professionals who are ready to go into the workforce. If many participants will be pursuing employment opportunities after the CDC, we suggest that educators and organizers design CDCs that will meet relevant learning outcomes. At the end of the CDC, participants should be able to:
* Write Linux and Windows scripts to support proper security protocols
* Provide network availability during a simulated attack
* Demonstrate how to overcome typical ethical challenges while maintaining telecommunications and network security
* Exhibit professional conduct as an IT professional
* Properly manage risk using accepted information security policies and procedures
* Detect and respond to unauthorized network access
* Implement controls to prevent unauthorized access to information assets
* Use physical (environmental) security protocols to protect information assets
* Create and manage incident response plans
* Develop policies and procedures to manage information assurance and ensure operations security
* Create access control procedures to minimize risk
* Respond to attacks on critical infrastructure using information response plans
* Create business continuity and disaster response plans
* Secure the organization against social engineering attacks
* Minimize professional negligence and liability through the use of proper information assurance plans
* Ensure security usability
* Design secure organizational infrastructure plans
* Exhibit understanding of current topics in IT
* Implement IT security policies throughout the software development lifecycle
* Secure the information assets of the interconnected organization
* Ensure privacy of data
* Participate and advise the organization on SETA
As expected, technical topics have a prominent role in preparation for a military career. If many of the participants will be pursuing military careers after the CDC, we suggest that educators design CDCs that will meet specific learning outcomes. At the end of the CDC, participants should be able to:
* Write Windows scripts to support proper security protocols
* Use physical (environmental) security protocols to protect information assets
* Detect and respond to unauthorized network access
* Demonstrate how to overcome typical ethical challenges while maintaining network security
* Create and use incident response plans
* Minimize professional negligence and liability through the use of proper information assurance plans
* Develop policies and procedures to manage information assurance and ensure operations security
* Manage a phishing attack using information security detection and response policies
* Ensure privacy of data
Several learning outcomes are important, regardless of whether students are pursuing education, employment, or military opportunities. Therefore, at a minimum, IS, ISA, and IT educators should model these overarching learning outcomes in all CDCs. At the end of the CDC competition, participants should be able to:
* Write Linux and Windows scripts to support proper security protocols (Technological)
* Implement controls to prevent unauthorized access to information assets (Technological)
* Create and use incident response plans (Technological & Social)
* Use physical (environmental) security protocols to protect information assets (Technological & Social)
* Minimize professional negligence and liability through the use of proper information assurance plans (Technological, Social, & Human)
* Develop policies and procedures to manage information assurance and ensure operations security (Technological & Social)
* Demonstrate how to overcome typical ethical challenges while maintaining network security (Social & Human)
* Respond to social engineering attacks using appropriate security management techniques (Technological, Social, & Human)
* Ensure privacy of data (Technological, Social, & Human)
* Properly manage risk using accepted information security policies and procedures (Social)
The recommended learning outcomes include a mix of technological, social, and human categories, providing balanced exposure for students.
Our results contribute to IS, ISA, and IT education in several ways. First, we developed an extensive list of topics to consider when developing CDCs. Unlike most previous studies, which have focused almost exclusively on technological areas, we included topics in social and human categories as well. Further, we carefully discussed each topic, noting the hybrid nature of some of the areas of study; that is, some topics fell into more than one category.
We asked our mentors how prepared students were for each of the topic areas after completing the CDC. Then we asked the mentors which topics were most important for students who wanted to pursue or continue their education in information-security related fields, seek employment in ISA, or join the military. We highlighted topics that were important for future educational opportunities in information security, future information security employment opportunities, or military opportunities and then compared to the preparation level of the students after the competition. From that, we developed a set of minimum learning outcomes that educators should consider when seeking to prepare students for future opportunities. While technological skills, such as Windows and Linux fundamentals, were important across all future opportunities, we did find a few surprises. Ethics received a prominent role, as did professional negligence and liability, areas that are more social and human in nature. Another surprising result was the mismatch between the High necessity of providing network availability, with the Low preparation of the students. Since the overall goal of most CDCs is to keep a network up and running during a simulated attack, we anticipated that students would have a High to Very High level of preparedness with that topic; we were wrong. Educators need to make sure that all students receive broad exposure to the basics of keeping the network available and running when under attack.
Our respondents identified only seven topics that were of High or Very High importance for students who wish to pursue educational opportunities, while they identified about a dozen High or Very High importance topics for military service, and about 30 topics that were of High or Very High importance for those who planned to pursue employment. Since we only included 43 topics total, the number of topics for Employment was substantial. Not surprisingly, students need to acquire many skills and capabilities prior to being able to contribute in an information security employment setting. Most CDCs will not prepare students for immediate employment. However, IS, ISA, and IT educators can seek to highlight those capabilities most valued by employees when holding competitions for university students who may soon seek employment. An interesting option is to investigate the learning outcomes of professional/industry CDCs and how they differ from high school or university CDCs. Gabberty (2013) noted positive outcomes from experiential, real-world training opportunities, and designers of future CDCs should carefully consider which topics to cover during simulated attacks. Students may use these experiential learning opportunities and acquired skills to make their resumes more attractive to employers. When hosting CDCs for industry professionals, the competitions may need to be more substantial, cover more topics, and last for a longer time, so that participants get an opportunity to showcase and improve the skills needed for information security professionals.
7. LIMITATIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH
We delivered our survey online using Qualtrics. Respondents self-selected to participate, and thus the sample is non-probabilistic and may not represent the population as a whole. However, our sample of all white males corresponds to the predominant race and gender qualities seen in information security. Clearly, collection of a more diverse sample, including a representative mix of women, non-white races, and ethnicities of Latino descent, may yield more valuable data.
Further, we had a sample of 11 respondents, which is small, and which may lower the external generalizability of the results. However, the number of judges and mentors for the CDC totaled only 49; thus, our response rate of just over 22% is within an acceptable range. Future studies could enlist the participation of more judges and mentors to validate the learning outcomes we developed. In addition, a 360-degree sample, to include students, peers, industry participants, mentors, and judges, may yield more enlightening information.
In addition, our respondents were judges and mentors participating in a high-school level CDC. While the judges and mentors in our study had significant, decades-long experience as C-level executives, in academia and in the military, a larger, more diverse sample might yield richer results.
Further, while we relied on Beznosov and Besnosova's (2007) original definitions of technological, social, and human issues, there may be opportunities to re-analyze the definitions. There is significant crossover of human and social issues, for instance, and it might be more helpful to analyze two categories (Technological and Social/Human) for simplicity.
Moreover, in some cases, questions could have been clearer. For instance, we asked how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to pursue future education without specifying the pursuit of ISA-related degrees. The judges and mentors had information-security backgrounds and would know and understand the qualities needed to be successful in ISA-related fields after the competition. We believe the judges and mentors, whose expertise lies in ISA, focused on information-security related education as we intended. Similar question re-examination may be appropriate for the military question as well. The preparation for future employment specifically asks about information security-related fields as we intended.
We distributed the survey after the CDC ended. Our intent was to gather student preparation levels after the competition, including any preparation done before the competition, along with whatever the student learned during the preparation for the CDC. It is possible some respondents could have misunderstood the question, not knowing if the levels of preparation referred to before or after the CDC; we encourage future researchers to continue to validate and refine our initial scale.
Different types of competitions--university, military, and industry--may require unequal levels of preparation across the topics studied. However, the average rating of the need for a particular topic to be prepared for university/technical school, the military, or employment should be similar, no matter the level of the competition. Particularly when considering the preparation for future employment, high school students are unlikely to be prepared for an ISA position upon completion of the CDC; competitions held at universities and/or with business or government sponsors may see very different levels of preparation for the future than our high school students, particularly regarding preparation for employment.
A focus on the high school level could explain some of the differences in the mean level of preparation as compared to the need for a topic, as shown in Table 6. Gathering data from participants in multiple types of competitions may assist in the development of learning outcomes that are more specific to the future opportunities anticipated, with a focus on matching the importance of the topic for the future opportunity with the students' levels of preparedness. We encourage additional research to evaluate these exciting and valuable experiential learning opportunities.
While we developed learning outcomes based on topic importance and levels of preparation, we did not develop an assessment instrument. Assessment is necessary to determine if participants accomplish the topic areas identified and is needed for accreditation activities if the CDC is part of classroom learning. Future research should validate and assess mastery of the learning outcomes suggested.
Finally, while this paper looked in-depth at learning outcomes for the CDC, event planning and technology setup were beyond the scope of the study. Other authors (Carlin, Manson, and Zhu, 2010) provide excellent advice on the planning side.
7.2 Future Research
The recent Sony and DNC compromises highlighted the need for information security protections for governments and private industry. In some cases, it is important for policy makers to know who is responsible for an attack in order to determine how to respond (Healey, 2011). Knowing how to respond to an information security breach goes beyond simply understanding the technical underpinnings of the attack. An interdisciplinary response, in combination with communications, public relations, marketing, advertising, finance, and accounting organizational units, presents opportunities for those who design CDCs. We should investigate this cross-disciplinary approach to crisis management in the future. What sort of cyber defense simulations should those outside of IS-related majors undergo to prepare them to respond to a crisis? Would a "Cyber League," which allows teams to compete head-to-head (Manson and Carlin, 2010), simulating the popular gaming environment, provide a better learning experience than the short, intense (and not head-to-head) CDCs that are most common? Current CDCs appeal to those interested in IS, ISA, and IT, but we may be underserving other disciplines by not helping them design appropriate crisis simulations and prepare a response. Crisis preparation and response has become an almost routine activity, but a cross-disciplinary approach is necessary to maintain goodwill and to keep customers. CDCs may provide information security students with initial skills, but we must reach across the aisle and capitalize on the expertise of functional areas beyond IT, to make a reasoned, well thought out, and understandable public statement.
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Amy B. Woszczynski
Department of Information Systems
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA 30144, USA
Amy B. Woszczynski is Professor of Information Systems at Kemiesaw State University. She earned a Bachelor's in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Tech, an M.B.A. from Kennesaw State University, and a Ph.D. from Clemson University. She publishes on topics related to information systems education, culture, and gender, in journals such as Journal of Information Systems Education, Journal of Global Information Technology Management, Journal of Computer Information Systems, International Journal of Information Management, Industrial Management & Data Systems, and Computers in Human Behavior.
Andrew Green is Lecturer of Information Security and Assurance at Kemiesaw State University. He earned a B.S. and M.S. in Information Systems from Kennesaw State University and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Information Systems, with a concentration in Information Security, at Nova Southeastern University. He publishes on topics related to information security education and has co-authored widely used textbooks in the information security space.
Cyber Defense Competition Learning Outcomes and Benefits
Students participating in the Cyber Defense competition go through preparation with mentors and are then judged based on their performance in a simulated event. We are investigating the student learning outcomes associated with the preparation for the competition and the competition itself.
The results will remain anonymous and confidential except as required by law. We will not release the results in any individually identifiable manner. You may stop the survey or withdraw from the study at any time. There are no known dangers from taking the survey. By learning more about cyber defense competitions, we will be able to make recommendations to improve education over time, which will benefit students, employers, and society. The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete.
I certify that I am at least 18 years of age, and I agree to take this survey.
Are you: Judge Mentor Other--
Part 1: Please rate how prepared you believe students are for each of the following.
Topic Not at all Somewhat Moderately Very Prepared Prepared Prepared Prepared Access control Attacks on critical infrastructure Business continuity and disaster recovery planning Computer forensics Cryptography Current information security topics Cyberterrorism Economics of security Ethics Global information security Hacktivists Incident response Information assurance Information security governance Information security policies Information technology security Intrusion detection Investigation and compliance Legal regulations Linux fundamentals Malware Operations security Organized crime and information security Penetration testing Phishing Physical (environmental) security Physical access controls Politics and security Privacy Professional conduct Professional negligence and liability Providing network availability (i.e., email, file transfer, chat, phone, etc.) during a simulated attack Risk management Securing IT intellectual property rights Securing the interconnected organization Security architecture and design Security education, awareness, and training programs Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software development security Telecommunications and network security Windows fundamentals Other (please describe)
Part 2: Please rate how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to pursue university/technical school education.
Part 3: Please rate how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to seek employment related to information security.
Part 4: Please rate how important it is for students to understand each topic if they plan to join the military.
Topic Not at all Somewhat Moderately Very Important Important Important Important Access control Attacks on critical infrastructure Business continuity and disaster recovery planning Computer forensics Cryptography Current information security topics Cyberterrorism Economics of security Ethics Global information security Hacktivists Incident response Information assurance Information security governance Information security policies Information technology security Intrusion detection Investigation and compliance Legal regulations Linux fundamentals Malware Operations security Organized crime and information security Penetration testing Phishing Physical (environmental) security Physical access controls Politics and security Privacy Professional conduct Professional negligence and liability Providing network availability (i.e., email, file transfer, chat, phone, etc.) during a simulated attack Risk management Securing IT intellectual property rights Securing the interconnected organization Security architecture and design Security education, awareness, and training programs Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software development security Telecommunications and network security Windows fundamentals Other (please describe)
Considering the preparation for and completion of this cyber defense competition, how well prepared do you believe students are for each of the following:
Future plans Not at all Somewhat Moderately Very prepared Prepared Prepared Prepared College/university Technical school Military service Employment
How could the cyber competition be improved?
How could student preparation be improved?
How could the simulated environment be made more realistic?
Do you have other comments?
We'd like to gather a few demographic details now.
How old are you:--Years Old
What is your race (please check all that apply):
American Indian or Alaskan Native
Asian or Pacific Islander
What is your ethnicity:
Hispanic origin Not of Hispanic origin
What is your job title (if retired, please list):--
Do you currently work in:
K-12 Education Post-secondary Education (Technical school, university, etc.) Military Other--
How many years of experience do you have in information security and related fields?--
Would you like a copy of the results? If so, please provide your email address. Thank you for your time.
Table 1. Cyber Defense Topics and Category Topic Category * Technological Social Human Access control X Attacks on critical infrastructure X X Business continuity and disaster X X recovery planning Computer forensics X Cryptography X Current information security topics X X Cyber terrorism X Economics of security X Ethics X X Global information security X Hacktivists X Incident response X X Information assurance X Information security governance X Information security policies X Information technology security X Intrusion detection X Investigation and compliance X Legal regulations X Linux fundamentals X Malware X Operations security X X Organized crime and information X security Penetration testing X Phishing X Physical (environmental) security X X Physical access controls X X Politics and security X Privacy X X X Professional conduct X X Professional negligence and X X liability Providing network availability X (i.e., email, file transfer, chat, phone) during a simulated attack Risk management X Securing IT intellectual property X X rights Securing the interconnected X X organization Security architecture and design X Security education, awareness, and X X training programs (SETA) Security usability X Shoulder surfing X Social engineering X Software development security X Telecommunications and network X security Windows fundamentals X TOTALS 23 25 9 % of total * 53.49% 58.14% 20.93% * Topics may appear in multiple categories, so the totals do not add to 100%. ** 43 topics total Table 2. Cyber Defense Preparation by Topic Topic Technological # Avg Rating Access control 10 2.90 Medium Attacks--critical infrastructure 10 2.30 Low BC/DRP Computer forensics 10 1.80 Very low Cryptography 10 1.40 Very low Current topics Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response 10 2.70 Medium Info assurance 10 2.40 Low Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security 10 2.80 Medium Intrusion detection 10 2.40 Low Inv. & compliance Linux 10 3.10 High Legal regulations Malware 10 2.40 Low Operations sec. 10 2.40 Low Org crime/infosec Penetration testing 10 1.90 Very low Phishing Physical security 10 2.70 Medium Physical controls 10 2.60 Medium Politics & security Privacy 9 2.56 Medium Prof. conduct Prof. negl. & liab. Provide NW avail. 10 2.40 Low Risk management Secure IT IP rights 10 1.30 Very low Secure inter. org 10 2.30 Low Security arch./des. 10 2.10 Low SETA programs 10 2.20 Low Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software dev. sec. 10 1.90 Very low Telecom & network security 10 2.20 Low Windows 10 3.20 High AVERAGE 2.41 Low Topic Social # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure BC/DRP 10 1.80 Very low Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 10 2.80 Medium Cyber terrorism 10 1.60 Very low Economics infosec 9 1.78 Very low Ethics 10 2.70 Medium Global infosec 10 1.90 Very low Hacktivists 10 2.10 Low Incident response 10 2.70 Medium Info assurance Infosec governance 10 1.80 Very low Infosec policies 10 2.10 Low IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance 10 2.00 Low Linux Legal regulations 10 1.60 Very low Malware Operations sec. 10 2.40 Low Org crime/infosec 10 1.80 Very low Penetration testing Phishing Physical security 10 2.70 Medium Physical controls 10 2.60 Medium Politics & security 10 2.10 Low Privacy 9 2.56 Medium Prof. conduct 10 2.70 Medium Prof. negl. & liab. 10 1.70 Very low Provide NW avail. Risk management 10 1.90 Very low Secure IT IP rights 10 1.30 Very low Secure inter. org 10 2.30 Low Security arch./des. SETA programs 10 2.20 Low Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering 10 3.00 High Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.12 Low Topic Human # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure 10 2.30 Low BC/DRP 10 1.80 Very low Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 10 2.80 Medium Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics 10 2.70 Medium Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response Info assurance Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance Linux Legal regulations Malware Operations sec. Org crime/infosec Penetration testing Phishing 10 2.90 Medium Physical security Physical controls Politics & security Privacy 9 2.56 Medium Prof. conduct 10 2.70 Medium Prof. negl. & liab. 10 1.70 Very low Provide NW avail. Risk management Secure IT IP rights Secure inter. org Security arch./des. SETA programs Security usability 10 2.40 Low Shoulder surfing 10 2.80 Medium Social engineering Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.47 Low Table 3. Importance of Topic for University/Tech School Topic Technological # Avg Rating Access control 8 2.88 Medium Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 2.50 Medium BC/DRP Computer forensics 8 2.00 Low Cryptography 8 2.00 Low Current topics Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response 7 3.00 High Info assurance 8 2.88 Medium Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security 8 2.75 Medium Intrusion detection 8 2.88 Medium Inv. & compliance Linux 8 3.00 High Legal regulations Malware 8 2.13 Low Operations sec. 8 2.75 Medium Org crime/infosec Penetration testing 8 2.88 Medium Phishing Physical security 8 2.63 Medium Physical controls 8 2.50 Medium Politics & security Privacy 8 2.75 Medium Prof. conduct Prof. negl. & liab. Provide NW avail. 7 3.00 High Risk management Secure IT IP rights 7 2.14 Low Secure inter. org 7 2.86 Medium Security arch./des. 7 2.86 Medium SETA programs 7 2.86 Medium Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software dev. sec. 7 2.71 Medium Telecom & network security 7 2.86 Medium Windows 7 3.57 Very high AVERAGE 2.71 Medium Topic Social # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure BC/DRP 8 2.50 Medium Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 2.38 Low Cyber terrorism 7 2.14 Low Economics infosec 8 2.13 Low Ethics 8 3.00 High Global infosec 8 2.50 Medium Hacktivists 8 2.13 Low Incident response 7 3.00 High Info assurance Infosec governance 8 2.38 Low Infosec policies 8 2.63 Medium IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance 8 2.50 Medium Linux Legal regulations 8 2.13 Low Malware Operations sec. 8 2.75 Medium Org crime/infosec 8 2.00 Low Penetration testing Phishing Physical security 8 2.63 Medium Physical controls 8 2.50 Medium Politics & security 8 2.38 Low Privacy 8 2.75 Medium Prof. conduct 8 3.25 High Prof. negl. & liab. 7 2.71 Medium Provide NW avail. Risk management 7 3.14 High Secure IT IP rights 7 2.14 Low Secure inter. org 7 2.86 Medium Security arch./des. SETA programs 7 2.86 Medium Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering 7 3.14 High Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.58 Medium Topic Human # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 2.50 Medium BC/DRP 8 2.50 Medium Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 2.38 Low Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics 8 3.00 High Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response Info assurance Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance Linux Legal regulations Malware Operations sec. Org crime/infosec Penetration testing Phishing 8 2.50 Medium Physical security Physical controls Politics & security Privacy 8 2.75 Medium Prof. conduct 8 3.25 High Prof. negl. & liab. 7 2.71 Medium Provide NW avail. Risk management Secure IT IP rights Secure inter. org Security arch./des. SETA programs Security usability 7 2.71 Medium Shoulder surfing 7 2.57 Medium Social engineering Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.69 Medium Table 4. Importance of Topic for Employment Topic Technological # Avg Rating Access control 8 3.50 Very high Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 3.38 High BC/DRP Computer forensics 8 2.75 Medium Cryptography 8 2.63 Medium Current topics Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response 8 3.50 Very high Info assurance 8 3.50 Very high Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security 8 3.75 Very high Intrusion detection 7 3.43 High Inv. & compliance Linux 7 3.71 Very high Legal regulations Malware 7 2.86 Medium Operations sec. 7 3.29 High Org crime/infosec Penetration testing 7 3.14 High Phishing Physical security 8 3.38 High Physical controls 8 3.38 High Politics & security Privacy 8 3.38 High Prof. conduct Prof. negl. & liab. Provide NW avail. 8 3.38 High Risk management Secure IT IP rights 8 2.75 Medium Secure inter. org 8 3.38 High Security arch./des. 8 3.13 High SETA programs 8 3.38 High Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software dev. sec. 8 3.38 High Telecom & network security 8 3.25 High Windows 8 3.63 Very high AVERAGE 3.30 High Topic Social # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure BC/DRP 8 3.25 High Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 3.25 High Cyber terrorism 8 2.50 Medium Economics infosec 8 2.88 Medium Ethics 8 3.50 Very high Global infosec 8 2.75 Medium Hacktivists 8 2.50 Medium Incident response 8 3.50 Very high Info assurance Infosec governance 8 2.88 Medium Infosec policies 8 3.50 Very high IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance 7 2.86 Medium Linux Legal regulations 7 2.71 Medium Malware Operations sec. 7 3.29 High Org crime/infosec 7 2.57 Medium Penetration testing Phishing Physical security 8 3.38 High Physical controls Politics & security 8 2.75 Medium Privacy 8 3.38 High Prof. conduct 8 3.63 Very high Prof. negl. & liab. 8 3.25 High Provide NW avail. Risk management 8 3.38 High Secure IT IP rights 8 2.75 Medium Secure inter. org 8 3.38 High Security arch./des. SETA programs 8 3.38 High Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering 8 3.75 Very high Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 3.13 High Topic Human # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 3.38 High BC/DRP 8 3.25 High Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 3.25 High Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics 8 3.50 Very high Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response Info assurance Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance Linux Legal regulations Malware Operations sec. Org crime/infosec Penetration testing Phishing 8 3.63 Very high Physical security Physical controls Politics & security Privacy 8 3.38 High Very high Prof. conduct 8 3.63 Prof. negl. & liab. 8 3.25 High Provide NW avail. Risk management Secure IT IP rights Secure inter. org Security arch./des. SETA programs Security usability 8 3.00 High Shoulder surfing 8 3.38 High Social engineering Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 3.36 High Table 5. Importance of Topic for Military Topic Technological # Avg Rating Access control 8 2.88 Medium Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 2.75 Medium BC/DRP Computer forensics 8 2.50 Medium Cryptography 8 2.88 Medium Current topics Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response 8 3.25 High Info assurance 8 3.13 High Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security 8 3.00 High Intrusion detection 8 3.13 HIGH Inv. & compliance Linux 8 2.75 Medium Legal regulations Malware 8 2.63 Medium Operations sec. 8 3.13 High Org crime/infosec Penetration testing 8 2.63 Medium Phishing Physical security 8 3.25 High Physical controls 8 3.25 High Politics & security Privacy 8 2.63 Medium Prof. conduct Prof. negl. & liab. Provide NW avail. 8 3.13 High Risk management Secure IT IP rights 8 2.25 Low Secure inter. org 8 2.88 Medium Security arch./des. 8 2.75 Medium SETA programs 8 2.75 Medium Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering Software dev. sec. 8 2.25 Low Telecom & network security 8 2.63 Medium Windows 8 3.00 High AVERAGE 2.84 Medium Topic Social # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure BC/DRP 8 2.88 Medium Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 2.38 Low Cyber terrorism 8 2.75 Medium Economics infosec 8 2.25 Low Ethics 8 3.00 High Global infosec 8 2.88 Medium Hacktivists 8 2.50 Medium Incident response 8 3.25 High Info assurance Infosec governance 8 2.88 Medium Infosec policies 8 3.00 High IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance 8 2.75 Medium Linux Legal regulations 8 2.63 Medium Malware Operations sec. 8 3.13 High Org crime/infosec 8 2.63 Medium Penetration testing Phishing Physical security 8 3.25 High Physical controls 8 3.25 High Politics & security 8 2.63 Medium Privacy 8 2.63 Medium Prof. conduct 8 3.25 High Prof. negl. & liab. 8 2.75 Medium Provide NW avail. Risk management 8 2.75 Medium Secure IT IP rights 8 2.25 Low Secure inter. org 8 2.88 Medium Security arch./des. SETA programs 8 2.75 Medium Security usability Shoulder surfing Social engineering 7 2.86 Medium Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.80 Medium Topic Human # Avg Rating Access control Attacks--critical infrastructure 8 2.75 Medium BC/DRP 8 2.88 Medium Computer forensics Cryptography Current topics 8 2.38 Low Cyber terrorism Economics infosec Ethics 8 3.00 High Global infosec Hacktivists Incident response Info assurance Infosec governance Infosec policies IT security Intrusion detection Inv. & compliance Linux Legal regulations Malware Operations sec. Org crime/infosec Penetration testing Phishing 8 3.13 High Physical security Physical controls Politics & security Privacy 8 2.63 Medium Prof. conduct 8 3.25 High Prof. negl. & liab. 8 2.75 Medium Provide NW avail. Risk management Secure IT IP rights Secure inter. org Security arch./des. SETA programs Security usability 8 2.63 Medium Shoulder surfing 8 2.88 Medium Social engineering Software dev. sec. Telecom & network security Windows AVERAGE 2.83 Medium Table 6. Match Between Level of Student Preparation and Importance of Topic Topic CDC Univ/Tech Employment Military Preparation Importance Importance Importance Access control 2.90 2.88 3.50 2.88 Attacks--critical 2.30 2.50 3.38 2.75 infrastructure BC/DRP 1.80 2.50 3.25 2.88 Computer forensics 1.80 2.00 2.75 2.50 Cryptography 1.40 2.00 2.63 2.88 Current topics 2.80 2.38 3.25 2.38 Cyber terrorism 1.60 2.14 2.50 2.75 Economics infosec 1.78 2.13 2.88 2.25 Ethics 2.70 3.00 3.50 3.00 Global infosec 1.90 2.50 2.75 2.88 Hacktivists 2.10 2.13 2.50 2.50 Incident response 2.70 3.00 3.50 3.25 Info assurance 2.40 2.88 3.50 3.13 Infosec governance 1.80 2.38 2.88 2.88 Infosec policies 2.10 2.63 3.50 3.00 IT security 2.80 2.75 3.75 3.00 Intrusion detection 2.40 2.88 3.43 3.13 Inv. & compliance 2.00 2.50 2.86 2.75 Linux 3.10 3.00 3.71 2.75 Legal regulations 1.60 2.13 2.71 2.63 Malware 2.40 2.13 2.86 2.63 Operations sec. 2.40 2.75 3.29 3.13 Org crime/infosec 1.80 2.00 2.57 2.63 Penetration testing 1.90 2.88 3.14 2.63 Phishing 2.50 2.50 3.63 3.25 Physical security 2.70 2.63 3.38 3.25 Physical controls 2.60 2.50 3.38 2.63 Politics & security 2.10 2.38 2.75 2.63 Privacy 2.56 2.75 3.38 3.25 Prof. conduct 2.70 2.38 3.63 2.75 Prof. negl. & liab. 1.70 2.71 3.25 3.13 Provide NW avail. 2.40 3.00 3.38 2.75 Risk management 1.90 3.14 3.38 2.25 Secure IT IP rights 1.70 2.14 2.75 2.88 Secure inter. org 2.30 2.86 3.38 2.88 Security arch./des. 2.10 2.86 3.13 2.75 SETA programs 2.20 2.86 3.38 2.75 Security usability 2.40 2.71 3.00 2.88 Shoulder surfing 2.80 2.57 3.75 2.86 Social engineering 3.00 3.14 3.38 2.86 Software dev. sec. 1.90 2.71 3.38 2.25 Telecom & network 2.20 2.86 3.25 2.63 security Windows 3.20 3.57 3.63 3.00 AVERAGE 2.27 2.61 3.20 2.81 Key: <2 = Very Low; 2.0-2.49 = Low; 2.5-2.99 = Medium; 3.0-3.49 = High; > =3.5 = Very High
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|Author:||Woszczynski, Amy B.; Green, Andrew|
|Publication:||Journal of Information Systems Education|
|Date:||Nov 1, 2017|
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