How gamification is revolutionising cyber security education

Have your students ever begged you to start the lesson early? Or spent hours upon hours of their free time, invested – not by force! – in educational games? They will now!

Making learning fun, removing the pressure and adding engaging elements to bring learning to life has a name – it’s called gamification and it’s the way we’ve encouraged thousands of students to discover their hidden talent and passion for cyber security.

Can education keep up with today’s technology?

The world today is geared up for smarter living – from smart appliances and home hubs to security systems, every aspect of our lives is now enhanced by technology.

As we embrace change and welcome a new era of connected living in our personal lives, have we also thought about the people who will keep those systems safe and protected from cyber criminals? The short answer is no.

Not only is there is a huge shortage of cyber security practitioners, there are also very few cyber security resources for students to discover this career path and develop their skills in an affordable and accessible way.

How to teach cybersecurity to the next generation of digital defenders

The cyber security industry is notoriously known as a tough field to crack. Not only do you need the time and patience to persevere with studying such an in-depth, constantly evolving topic, but there is also a high barrier to entry that requires expensive training courses and certificates.

With plenty of hurdles already in place, traditional text books and learning can make the subject matter seem dry and unengaging, encouraging fewer students to even consider it at school.

And this is where the issue lies.

Cyber security is one of the most hands on, fascinating industries that has roles to suit students with varying personality traits and interests but the key is breaking down stereotypes and inspiring them to have a go.

In this TED talk, CyberStart Founder, James Lyne discusses in more detail the issue of not training enough cyber security experts for the future

Gamification has the unique and powerful ability to change people’s opinion on learning, particularly with topics such as cyber security where you can have a go at real world simulations, imagine yourself in these cool cyber settings, and experience the thrill of problem solving. When it doesn’t feel like a chore, the task at hand becomes so much more entertaining and addictive, just like their favourite video game.

Our founder James Lyne first discovered this when he was part of a summer camp that trained 600 kids to learn cyber security in a traditional way. You can guess what happened – the kids were reluctant to go, they weren’t interested in the cyber security resources provided and the atmosphere lacked any sense of excitement. So, he did some research and decided to try and gamify cyber security. He took all his passion for cyber security and created a new vision, teaching young adults how to hack into things and how to make software more secure through fun, immersive challenges. Over 3 days; enthusiasm grew until the kids were turning up EARLY for camp, begging for the cybersecurity lessons to begin.

That’s the dramatic difference gamification can make. With cyber security, it takes a complex, technical subject and transforms it into a bite-sized, accessible format, meaning kids of all ages can start right at the beginning and pace themselves to develop skills they didn’t know even existed.

An educator and parent’s role in the future

Cyber security is essential to protect tomorrow’s digitally connected world and now more than ever, we need to inform, encourage and inspire every single student who has the passion and potential to thrive.

You don’t need to be an expert to teach cyber security. You simply need to provide the opportunity, break down the barriers and let them explore an entirely new career path and interest.

Got a class full of eager students, who you think could crack codes and analyse puzzles? Or maybe your children love creative problem solving?

Get started right now with CyberStart Game - the most proven cyber security learning tool for young adults!

CyberStart Game

What is it? An immersive gamified cyber security learning experience. Discover how to crack codes, find security flaws and dissect criminals’ digital trails whilst playing fun learning games as a cyber agent.

Who is it for? Whether you are a student interested in cyber security, a teacher looking for cybersecurity lesson ideas, or a parent wanting to inspire and educate your family – CyberStart Game is designed with you in mind.

Awesome! How can I find out more? www.cyberstart.com

All of the programmes below are entirely free, and feature the CyberStart tools that are already loved by thousands of students all over the world!

Cyber Discovery

What is it? A fun, educational game-based programme developed to push your potential and enhance your passion!

Who’s it for? 13-18 year olds in the UK only.

Awesome! How can I find out more? www.joincyberdiscovery.com

CyberStart America

What is it? A fun, educational game-based programme developed to improve your cyber security skills and reward you with free college scholarships!

Who’s it for? 13-18 year old high school students in the US only.

Awesome! How can I find out more? www.cyberstartamerica.org