Dstl develop cyber security training game

30 January 2019

Scientists at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) have developed a cyber card game that claims to “fundamentally alter” the way cyber is thought about, taught and employed.

According to Dstl, cyber threats are varied and often very sophisticated, meaning they may go unnoticed. It adds that training staff to recognise and counter common information warfare attack strategies can be difficult, time-consuming and expensive.

Dstl scientists claim their card game provides “rapid upskilling” in understanding high level, open source cyber attack techniques, and enhances learning on possible defensive strategies. They say it offers a more enjoyable approach to cyber training with staff having the option to continue playing in their own time.

The game is also designed to be adaptable across a range of audiences and knowledge levels. Dstl says it can be tailored to various scenarios, ranging from a rapid two hour session for corporate management through to an extended campaign for cyber professionals. Furthermore, it avoids using classified information and therefore does not need security clearance to play.

Dstl says extensive testing of the game and positive stakeholder feedback has shown a very rapid initial learning curve compared to conventional training alone. It is now available for license on a non-exclusive basis through the lab’s Easy Access IP licencing framework. This enables companies to develop Dstl’s work at no cost, facilitating commercialisation of products that will benefit the economy and society.

The first licencing agreement has been signed with Coruscant Productions which plans to develop and market the cyber card game training approach further. The company’s founder Tomas Owen says: “The cyber card game fundamentally alters the way cyber is thought about, taught and employed.”